We here at BUST HQ are deeply saddened by the disaster currently happening in Japan, and have opened our hearts and pockets to the relief efforts.

We hope BUST readers will do the same, and we've done a little nosing around to find some reliable relief organizations that’ll help you help Japan. The 8.9 earthquake hit Friday afternoon, provoking a tsunami that devastated Japan’s coastal towns and caused at least two nuclear explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The relief effort has just begun, and the disaster is far from over. Please help our global neighbors out by donating to any number of the following organizations:

  • The Red Cross has begun relief efforts. To donate, you can visit their website or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone. A word of caution, however, when you text a donation 5-10% of your donation goes to mGive as an administrative fee. The best way to donate is through the organization's secure website, or using a good old fashion cheque.
  • Save the Children is accepting donations for its Children’s Emergency Fund.
  • The Happy Hearts Fund was started by model Petra Nemacova after she survived the 2004 Indian tsunami. It’s not a first response fund, but helps rebuild communities after disasters. It’s administrative members are underwritten by the board, meaning that 100% of its funds go towards relief.
  • ShelterBox provides shelter for displaced and evacuated persons. Reports are estimating that over 250,000 people have been made homeless by the disaster.
  • Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is sending two three-person teams to  some of the hardest hit areas of Japan, the Iwate and Miyagi prefectures along the coast. To learn more about the organization's efforts or make a donation, visit Doctorswithoutborders.org.
  • Salvation Army personnel are organizing efforts in Tokyo and will soon send a team to help the severely damaged city of Sendai, Japan. To contribute to earthquake relief, text 'JAPAN' or 'QUAKE' to 80888 to make a $10 donation or visit SalvationArmyUSA.org.
  • Action Against Hunger and ACF International have provided relief efforts in Japan as well as preventive measures in the Philippines' province of Cuatuadnes. Thanks to alert systems the organization set up in the area, they were able to help 45,00 at-risk persons evacuate and prevent a much larger disaster. Their relief efforts are on-going.
  • Oxfam Japan helps fight poverty and social justice in Japan. It’s important to remember that in a disaster situation, it is often the region’s poorest who are hardest hit. Visit their website to make a secure donation.
  • Lady Gaga has created white “we pray for japan” bracelets. They can be purchased for 5 bucks with all proceeds going to relief efforts in Japan.

Picture courtesy of Reuters.