The ongoing disaster in Japan brings home to all of us the fragile nature of everything we build and create for ourselves as a society and how quickly all of it can be reduced to a pile of rubble.
The 8.9 Richter scale earthquake, followed by the 23 foot tsunami, followed by extraordinary and dangerous situations at three atomic generating plants has left millions of Japanese homeless, without heat, electricity, gas and even food and medicine.
And now there are growing worries about the release of radiation from the stricken nuclear reactors.
Boston is home to several thousand Japanese nationals. Our colleges, universities, teaching hospitals and many of our high tech businesses are where many of our Japanese friends are to be found.
To a person, they have been thrown into an utter state of despair by the tragedies unfolding in their native land.
Boston’s Japanese consulate is located in the Federal Reserve Building across from South Station. It has become the hub for many Bostonians seeking a way to contribute to the effort to help out our Japanese friends and allies during this difficult time.
The Boston consulate is suggesting that those who wish to make donations do so to the Japanese Red Cross Society, which is accepting donations for the relief of victims and damages caused by the tragedy of March 11.
Also, in Boston and throughout the United States, the American Red Cross is accepting donations for Japan, and will transfer such donations to the Japanese Red Cross Society.
When contacting the American Red Cross by telephone, please mention your intention to donate to the victims in Japan.
The American Red Cross website enables you to donate directly by clicking on the “Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami” section.
The American Red Cross can be called at 1-800-733-2767 or on-line at http://www.redcross.org/.
The Japanese Red Cross Society can be called at +81-3-3400-1311 or on-line at http://www.jrc.or.jp/.
Although we feel immune from the type of disaster that just hit Japan, we are directly on the ocean and we are not immune.
If you can, make a donation to the Japanese Red Cross.
You will be doing something good for a people who are among the most remarkable on this earth.