Apple inc, is making donations easy with its iTunes software. iTunes is the place where iOS-powered devices and Mac owners buy apps and music. The minimum donation allowed is $5, while $200 is the maximum. Apparently, you can repeat donating. You can start donating via iTunes by clicking this link. According to Apple, all donations will go to American Red Cross.
A massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific Ocean nearby Northeastern Japan at around 2:46pm on March 11 (JST) causing damage with blackouts, fire and tsunami. On this page Google is providing information and a place to donate: http://www.google.com/crisisresponse...quake2011.html
There is a medical team, also, that has already sent ahead three members of the team to accompany the 74,000 pounds of supplies and equipment that was loaded aboard a USAF C-17 at McChord, headed for Misawa Air Base in NE Japan.
There are also dedicated "Western" aid groups that have personnel in Japan ongoing that are using donations directly there.
Here's "another take" on the International Red Cross efforts and donations...
I'm sure I could dig up many more efforts already happening, that depend on donations to do their work.
A number of UK teams are one their way or already there.
Yes, there is a delay before "outside" aid is requested/accepted, but it almost always is once it becomes obvious it is necessary.
Even our military folks stationed there in Japan were delayed from helping for a day before the "official request" came from the Japanese government that granted "permission" for them to step outside their gates and do anything productive.
If you don't trust the American Red Cross, the International Red Cross, or Red Crescent to do the job, pick someone else. Just don't sit on your thumbs because your pennies might not go directly to someone in Japan. Don't use that as an excuse not to at least try to help.
(Besides, Gawker and Gizmodo can go pound sand as far as I'm concerned. Their reportage often leaves a LOT to be desired...)
BTW, according to this interview with the Americal Red Cross in SF, CA, the Japanese Red Cross is doing the work in Japan with the support of the American Red Cross, and that is how the money is "getting to" the victims in Japan.
Foreign Rescue Teams Arrive in Japan after Powerful Quake
Jiji Press Ticker Service
March 13, 2011
Rescue teams from the United States and other countries arrived in Japan on Sunday to assist in search-and-rescue efforts in the wake of a 9.0-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami waves that devastated northeastern Japan two days ago.
About 150 members of the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, arrived at Misawa airport, Aomori Prefecture, northern Japan, by a chartered flight. The group consists of two rescue teams, each with six search-and-rescue dogs.
The U.S. group left for Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, one of the areas hit hardest by the quake, the most powerful on record in Japan. It will work under the leadership of the Tokyo Fire Department.
Rescue teams from China, Germany and Switzerland also arrived in Japan on Sunday. A 15-strong Chinese team left for Ofunato, while a German party comprising 43 personnel and three dogs and a Swiss group of 27 members and nine dogs headed for the town of Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, where many residents are unaccounted for.
A 63-strong British team with two dogs arrived at Misawa airport to work in cooperation with the U.S. team beginning on Monday. A French team of at least 100 members is set to arrive in Japan later on Sunday.
According to Iwate Prefecture, a group of 163 Turkish rescue workers will arrive in the quake-damaged prefecture.
Meanwhile, an advance party of seven New Zealand rescue workers arrived in Japan the same day. It will be joined by a main team of 48 rescue workers and 11 engineers, including seven who are from Christchurch, which was hit by a powerful quake late last month.