How you can help victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami

From the Red Cross to Lady Gaga: We've compiled a list of charities leading relief efforts

Topics: Japan Earthquake, Earthquakes, Japan, Nuclear Power,

How you can help victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunamiA woman pushes a bicycle on a street following a massive tsunami that's triggered by a catastrophic earthquake in Tagajo near Sendai, northeastern Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)(Credit: AP)

As the disaster continues to unfold in Japan and other parts of the Pacific rim, many are looking for ways to help. We’ve compiled a list of notable relief efforts already underway. 

  • Apple has set up a page in its iTunes store where users can donate to relief efforts in increments of $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 and $200. All proceeds go to the American Red Cross.
  • Donors who want to give directly to the American Red Cross can do so at its website, or by texting “redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 gift. The organization is assisting the Japanese Red Cross, and providing shelter to those displaced by the tsunami in American regions such as Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest.
  • Lady Gaga sent out a tweet yesterday announcing she’s designed a “We Pray For Japan” wristband, available for sale on her website. 100 percent of proceeds go directly to Japan relief.
  • Zynga, the maker of the hugely popular Facebook game Farmville, is soliciting donations in all of its games. All proceeds go to Save the Children’s “Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund.”
  • Individuals who also want to give directly to Save the Children’s relief efforts can do so at their website.
  • Doctors Without Borders is sending three-person teams to those areas most adversely effected by the disaster. Donations are accepted at the NGO’s website
  • International Medical Corps provides training and health care and medical assistance to local populations in need. The organization has already sent a response team to Japan, and is mobilizing supplies and coordinating with partners in the country to help as need be. You can donate at its website or by texting “MED” to 80888.
  • The Salvation Army is accepting donations from their website, via telephone (1-800-SAL-ARMY) or via text message by sending “Japan” or “Quake” to 80888 to make a $10 donation. The group is sending a team to Japan to provide nourishment, aid and assistance
  • Individuals can contribute to AmeriCares using a form on its website. The non-profit says its team is mobilizing resources for the relief effort and sending a relief expert with experience mitigating the impact of last year’s Chile earthquake to the scene.

If ever in doubt about a charity, you can check out a list of helpful tips and ratings at Charity Navigator

Peter Finocchiaro is a senior editor at Salon. Follow him on Twitter @PLFino.

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