Houston Red Cross Office Accepting Donations for Japan Earthquake Relief

The 8.9 earthquake and tsunami in Japan have left hundreds dead and hundreds more missing. As with all other disasters, the Red Cross is mobilized to help. Ed Mayberry reports.

The Red Cross website is accepting donations specifically for the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami. Tim Kidwell with the Red Cross office here in Houston says phones began ringing as soon as doors opened.

“Family members that were calling to try to get inquiries about their loved ones that are stationed in Japan. So the number of calls we received started to go up this morning. Since, we’ve received word that all military — U.S. military in Japan — had been accounted for.”

The Red Cross raises funds for disaster response, rather than ask for material donations such as blankets, food or medicines. Kidwell says that’s a lot more efficient.

“We’ll raise money and then we’ll buy the supply as needed. You know, to say we’re going to collect blankets for Japan, the transfer or the shipping of those goods would be so cost-prohibitive you would use up a lot of your donated dollars just getting the materials there. Much easier to raise money here and then let them purchase things and you not having to pay for the shipping.”

Giving can be as easy as texting the phrase “RedCross” to 90999.

“We actually started that during Haiti — the Haiti earthquake. And that was very, very successful during the Haiti earthquake. Basically it was a $10 donation to the American Red Cross. Something you can do immediate, and you can reach people in all different categories, ages and groups that receive, have cellphones and can text the message.” 

Online donations can be made on the Red Cross website, or $10 donations can be made instantly through texts to 90999.

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