Japan earthquake: How you can help

A woman, carrying a child on her back, walks over tsunami-drifted debris and mud in Rikuzentakada, Iwate Prefecture, Saturday. Click on the image for full size

Jessica Dickler
CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — After the fifth largest earthquake in history struck Japan Friday, many Americans have been eager to help — but donations can be tricky, particularly in the earliest phase of the recovery effort.

Despite the massive destruction seen in Tokyo and the surrounding area, “at this stage it’s very difficult to say the extent of the need,” said Andrea Koppel, a spokeswoman from the American Red Cross…

…Patrick Rooney, executive director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, recommends giving to reputable aid organizations, like the Red Cross and Save the Children, because those organizations already have a presence in the impacted area and their response will likely be faster and more efficient than other organizations that are not on the ground.

“They have the experience and infrastructure necessary to provide help,” he said.

The Japanese Red Cross has already deployed 900 rescue workers to the affected region today and the American Red Cross has emergency responders on standby, Koppel added…

Read the complete article at CNN Money.

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