In Japan's Time of Need, Technology Comes to the Rescue

By Michelle Amodio March 15, 2011

The aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan has left the country in a terrible way. An estimated 200,000 people have been left homeless and more than one million households are without water. For those of us across the pond and around the globe who otherwise might feel helpless, technology comes to the rescue so that we can all do our part in helping rebuild the nation of Japan.

Companies and networks like Twitter, Facebook, Verizon Wireless, iTunes and others have all partnered with non-profit organizations to give people high-tech ways to contribute to the cause with the click of a button or the text of a mobile phone.

Ways to Help

  • Google launched Person Finder : 2011 Japan Earthquake for users to submit information on the whereabouts of someone or to find someone in particular that might have been affected by the disaster. Currently there are more than 140,000 records on site.
  • Apple iTunes added a special page to its iTunes Store over the weekend that lets users donate money to the Red Cross to help the victims of Japan’s recent earthquake and tsunami.

“Your gift to the American Red Cross will support our relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific,” the Red Cross stated on the iTunes Store donation page. “Your support will enable the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters,” reads the donation page.    

  • You can also pledge money through all of that social networking you do. Using Facebook or Twitter, users can donate using HelpAttack, which turns social actions into good deeds.
  • Using your mobile phone, The Mobile Giving Foundation announced several different ways users can text their way to donating. Textophiles can text “JAPAN" or "TSUNAMI" to 20222 to donate $10 on behalf of Save the Children Federation, Inc.; text "4JAPAN"or "4TSUNAMI" to 20222 to donate $10 on behalf of World Vision, Inc.; or text "MERCY" to 25283 to donate $10 on behalf of Mercy Corps.
  • If you’re a lover of those crazy Zynga games like FarmVille, players can purchase a limited edition daikon radish crop. One-hundred percent of the purchase price goes to Save the Children's Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami Children Emergency Fund.

Verizon is also helping everyone get connected for free. To help customers contact loved ones, Verizon and Verizon Wireless has made calls to Japan free of charge through April 10. All calls made from a Verizon residential landline to Japan will be rated at $0.00 per minute. The company is also providing FiOS TV customers who are not subscribed to the channel free access to TV Japan through March 17. The channel location is 1770.

Michelle Amodio is a TechZone360 contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

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