Disaster in Japan: How to Help

By Wendy Cole, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® has watched with horror at the events  in Japan since a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off shore  on March 11, triggering a tsunami, unimaginable devastation and a nuclear crisis that is still unfolding.

As in the case of the recent earthquakes in New Zealand, NAR has identified four funds that the association believes are well equipped to provide disaster-relief services. NAR urges members who want to make a donation to consider one of these organizations.

“REALTORS® build communities here in the U.S., but we also have a role to play in the global community, as well. With that in mind, we want to express our heartfelt concern and support for the people of Japan during these trying times,” says NAR President Ron Phipps.

Jason Watabe of Mercer Island, Wash., NAR President’s liaison to Japan’s four real estate associations, has helped to develop additional support programs with the Seattle-King County Association of REALTORS®.  “We cherish our business relations in Japan,” he said.  “And we have to show our friendship by extending financial support in providing the victims food, water, heat and shelter for tonight and tomorrow.”  The association has set up a site for those interested in contributing to both immediate relief efforts and and long-term shelter and rebuilding initiatives.

The Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), based in Carlsbad, Calif., has set up a fund to help address Japan’s long-term needs and support future rebuilding of homes for the people of the hardest hit Tohoku region. Read about the initiative and how you can help.

Here are brief descriptions of the NAR-recommended funds along with helpful giving tips from CharityNavigator.org:

AmeriCares is a nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization whose passion to help is matched by its ability to deliver. In times of epic disaster, daily struggle or civil conflict, AmeriCares restores health and saves lives by delivering donated medicines, medical supplies and humanitarian aid to people in need around the world and across the United States. Donate to AmeriCares’ Japan relief.

Habitat for Humanity International
Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) is an ecumenical Christian housing ministry. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Donate to HHI’s Japan relief.

The United States Fund for UNICEF was founded in 1947 to support the work of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) by raising funds for its programs and increasing awareness of the challenges facing the world’s children. The oldest of 37 national committees for UNICEF worldwide, we are part of a global effort to save, protect, and improve children’s lives. Donate to UNICEF’s Japan relief.

World Vision
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Donate to WorldVision’s Japan relief.

Wendy Cole

Wendy Cole is the Editor of REALTOR® Magazine.

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  1. I certainly have made it my business (both myself and members of my family) to financilly contribute to the Japanese relief fund(s) to the extent that I am financially
    able to do so.

    I would also like to get some information (if possible from this site) or another site as to how I may assist the Janpanese people in rebuilding their towns and homes.

    I am a Certified General Contractor in the State of Florida and am more than able to travel to Japan. I have been licensed for 39 years and am more than familiar with all aspects of construction, site development, infrastructure, etc. Along with my extensive construction knowledge I am also an expeditor and know how to get the job done, get it done right and get it done quickly.

    If you have any information on who I may contact it would be greatly appreciated.

    Best Regards,
    Tony Cimaglia