The destruction left behind by the recent earthquake in northern Japan and subsequent tsunamis and aftershocks has led to a need for charitable organizations to aid in reconstruction. As of March 20, the National Police Agency of Japan has reported more than 7,500 deaths and damage to more than 100,000 buildings. Several of Japan’s nuclear power plants, dams, and ports suffered damage as well.
Charitynavigator.org, founded in 2001, has designed a rating system based on how responsibly a charity functions its daily operations and sustainability. Their website states that these two facets are important factors in determining how successful a charity is at helping the needy with donated money.
In terms of helping Japan, charities such as the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Brother’s Brother Foundation, and Food for the Hungry have been awarded four-out-of-four stars for effectiveness and using all designated funds for Japan.
Larger charities, such as the American Red Cross, are often rated with three stars.
Tracey Kiest , the communications manager for the Grand Canyon chapter of the American Red Cross, said the Japanese Red Cross was working?hard to help Japan recover.
“About 430,000 people are straying in the approximately 2,500 shelters operated by the government and supported by the Japanese Red Cross. A Japanese Red Cross helicopter team was mobilized to evacuate people from rooftops . (and) 2,400 nurses trained nationwide (have been dispatched) to give emotional comfort. Psychosocial support will be one of the greatest needs in the weeks and months ahead,” Kiest stated in an e-mail.
She also said that on average the Red Cross spends 91 cents of every dollar toward humanitarian efforts, leaving the remaining 9 cents spent on administrative costs.
“The Japanese Red Cross has also deployed nearly 135 medical teams, made up of more than 800 people, including doctors and nurses,” Kiest said.
She said that Red Crosses around the world have been communicating with the Japanese Red Cross to see how they can help the immense damage Japan has suffered.
“This is a catastrophic disaster. The Japanese Red Cross volunteers are working around the clock providing relief. (They are) a highly experienced disaster relief organization with 2 million volunteers,” Kiest said.