Awareness, Charity Spotlight

Charity Spotlight: Philadelphia-Japan Disaster Relief Fund

Charity Spotlight is a new monthly feature on twenty(or)something wherein a selected charity or non-profit organization will be highlighted to bring awareness to its cause. The name of the charity and a quick-link to donation information will be provided via the Hello Bar at the top of the website throughout the month, with a full-profile of the organization and/or testament to the cause being featured in its own post on the first of every month.

I may not be able to be the change I wish I could be, yet…but it’s my greatest hope that I can make a difference by building awareness with the currency I have readily available right now: Words. Knowledge. Passion.

How will you create change?


On March 11, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake shook the northeast coast of Japan, triggering a devastating tsunami that travelled as far as 6 miles inland. Lives have been lost or otherwise irrevocably changed, land has been destroyed, and animals have been injured…and subsequently rescued.

As thousands try to piece their lives back together in the wake of this natural disaster, the crisis continues with a nuclear radiation leak, which experts are comparing to Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island. Three Mile Island alone cost $975 million in recovery funds and took 14 years, according to Forbes; Japan’s estimates reach $300 billion.

What does this all mean?

Japan needs help. While it’s difficult to imagine the level of destruction and devastation that has occurred, while it’s easy to sympathize and then return to our daily lives, the fact remains that thousands are missing loved ones and are without their homes and in need of even the basic necessities of food, clothing, and viable drinking water.

The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, a 501(c)3 organization, has initiated the Japan Disaster Relief Fund in conjunction with the Japanese Red Cross Society to facilitate donations for those wishing to aid in the relief effort. (Updated: Please note that the JASGP are unable to accept goods at this time).

For more information and to donate, please visit the JASGP relief-fund website or visit the Japanese Red Cross Society directly.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the JASGP, the Philadelphia-Japan Disaster Relief Fund,  or the Japanese Red Cross.

Note: It has come to my attention that some are concerned about the intentions and/or credibility of this feature, and I completely understand the double-edged sword that comes with positive intentions, especially considering topics of such a sensitive nature. My purpose for this feature is less to spotlight the charity itself, but more to highlight the causes they stand behind; my intent is to attempt to bring that information to the forefront, as it’s my personal belief that awareness is that stepping stone to activism. If you would like to discuss this feature further, I welcome your respectful opinions at twentyorsomething[at]

It was also brought to my attention that there is a great resource out there related to this very issue of good intentions versus responsibility. I don’t expect nor require anyone to make donations to any of the charities I feature; the reason they will be featured are, again, for the causes they stand behind, and the purpose is to build awareness with information and personal testaments as applicable.  As such, I do invite everyone to check out Good Intentions (dot) org, an excellent resource in making sure you are fully informed when making your decisions to donate. (Thanks, Akhila!)