It goes without saying that anything you can do to aid in the relief efforts for Japan is an absolute MUST DO, as the people struggle to recover in the wake of one of the most devastating disasters the nation has ever faced. We are part of a global community, where if one nation suffers greatly, it affects us all, and anything we can do to assist should be a priority.
So you've probably already given a large donation to an organization like The American Red Cross or may already support groups like Doctors Without Borders (two of this Bird's personal favorites!), now think of little ways you can help out, which keeps the charitable flow of giving going at a steady pace. Companies like Starbucks and Apple are making it easy to make a donation right in their stores, both brick-and-mortar and virtual. Why not skip a few extra coffee drinks this week and donate that amount to The Red Cross the next time you're at a Starbucks -- they're making it easy to donate right in stores. And the next time you want to buy the latest episode of Glee on iTunes, consider putting an extra few dollars that you would have spent on more mp3s towards the relief fund on iTunes. Sure, it may be $10 or $15 worth of coffee or music, but just think if EVERYONE set aside that $10 and gave it to a charity once a week?
And of course we do love wearing a good cause, but it should always be fashionable, right? What better way to show support as a reminder to both ourselves and others that disaster relief is an ongoing struggle, so it needs to be as fresh in our minds when October rolls along, as it was March 11th. Efforts by groups like Threadless and Cause for Design are creating beautifully designed goods and donating the proceeds to relief efforts. But the Jaunty rule is, don't just buy the t-shirt or get a cheap, cheesy-looking rubber wristband from Lady Gaga -- pick a favorite charity, do a proper donation, and then choose one of these little ways to keep this theme of goodwill going for a longterm basis.
Still need suggestions for excellent charitable organizations and global relief efforts? Any of these would be a fine choice to show your support for a world in need:
The Salvation Army
American Red Cross
Doctors Without Borders
Jaunty Fine Print: logos from retailers/companies listed above