In the aftermath of the natural disasters that have recently struck Japan our hearts go out to them. People’s Facebook statuses, Twitter updates, and the like have expressed sentiments of compassion for those affected. However, I feel compelled to urge people not to be passive, be active with your desire to contribute aid to the situation. Do not simply change your Facebook photo and update your twitter status—let those actions serve as your starting point.
For those who wish to and are able to contribute monetary assistance through donations please do so wisely. It is much wiser to donate to smaller NGO’s rather than large conglomerates. This allows the usage of the funds to be far more direct and effective in the area affected by the disaster whereas with larger conglomerates the area in which you intended to assist may or may not see the resources allocated to their area (and if they are there is no guarantee as to how soon). Jason Pitzl-Waters at The Wild Hunt Blog has done an excellent job of not only covering this issue and the earthquake/tsunami as a whole but has also taken the time to gather some resources for donation recommendations. I urge you to visit The Wild Hunt for updates regarding the pagan communities involvement in the relief effort and Japans recovery progress in addition to the resource list. (The Wild Hunt’s post on recommended resources: http://wildhunt.org/blog/2011/03/update-japanese-earthquake-and-tsunami-resources.html)
For those unable to donate monetarily do not fret. You can still actively participate in assisting the recovery efforts in Japan. Send prayers, Reiki, light a candle, send healing energy. It is times such as these that we should utilize the very essence of magick and use our energy to create change for betterment in the world. Your contribution to this is not to be down played or taken lightly. You can make a difference! I myself have been regularly sending Reiki to Japan as my contribution to the relief efforts. Your contribution is important and none is too small!
So please, take a moment and do whatever you feel compelled or have the ability to do to assist Japan. We are all residents on Mother Earth, and we are all neighbors in essence, even at the global scale.
Blake Octavian Blair