LTSC on Helping Disaster Victims in Japan

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The following was released by the Little Tokyo Service Center in Los Angeles on Monday:

Many people have generously asked us at LTSC how they could help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  The following is some information for those who wish to help or are seeking to get help.

Cash donations are the quickest and easiest form of assistance, which can be applied broadly to aid disaster areas and provide an infusion of economic aid. The following groups are among the many reputable relief programs.

Japanese Chamber of Commerce Foundation. They are a Japanese and Japanese American business association and are collecting donations on behalf of UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). Checks can be made payable to “U.S. Fund for UNICEF” with the note “Japan Disaster Fund” and send to: 244 S. San Pedro St., Room 504, Los Angeles, CA  90012. Call (213) 626-3067 for more info.

Japan America Society of Southern California. This 100-year-old nonprofit with both local and national chapters has set up a special fund.  Checks may be sent to: Japan America Society, 345 S. Figueroa St., Suite M-1, Los Angeles, CA  90071. Identify “Japan Earthquake Relief Fund” in the check memo line. Call (213) 626-6217 for more info. Secure online donations can be made at www.jas-socal.org.

Red Cross. Those who want to help can go to www.redcross.org and donate to Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami relief. People can donate via their website and also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those impacted.

The Japanese Red Cross is a highly experienced disaster relief organization with 2 million volunteers nationwide.  It has deployed 95 medical teams, made up of more than 700 people, including doctors and nurses. It is currently operating emergency medical and relief operations in the stricken areas.

The best way to contact or locate U.S. citizens living or traveling in Japan is to through the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (888) 407-4747 or (202) 647-5225.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has also offered to assist Japan with restoring family links via their website at www.icrc.org/familylinks.

One-Day Donation Drive by Councilmember Jan Perry. Drive and drop off your cash or check donations (made out to American Red Cross/Japan Disaster) at City Hall on Main Street between First and Temple streets between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 17. You won’t have to leave your car.

LTSC services available during this crisis:

DISKovery Computer Center – Making Contacts in Japan. Google has made available a special search feature (“People Finder”) to assist persons seeking contact with victims in affected areas of Japan. The DISKovery Computer Center in Little Tokyo (with 20 workstations) will be made available daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, beginning Tuesday, March 15. Technical assistance (in English and Japanese) will be provided to anyone who needs help using the various online tools and methods of communications to contact or find loved ones in Japan.

Please call (213) 621-4158. The DISKovery Center is located at: 353 E. First St. (in Little Tokyo), Los Angeles, CA 90012.

There are many members of our community who want to give assistance during this time of tragedy. At the same time, we realize that there are others who could use a little support themselves. Here are some places people can call:

Nikkei Helpline: Volunteers are available primarily for Japanese speakers at (213) 473-1633 or 1-800-NIKKEI-1.

Ryugakusei Helpline: Similar to Nikkei Helpline but for Japanese students here in Los Angeles.  Please call (213) 473-1630 or 1631.

Little Tokyo Service Center: LTSC’s bilingual social services staff can be reached by calling (213) 473-3035.

Please check our website for additional or updated information: www.LTSC.org

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