As the days have passed and the images of the continued suffering of the people of Japan have flashed before our eyes in the United States, I can’t help but wonder how the children of Japan are being impacted throughout this catastrophe. A child’s perception of the world, especially young children thrust into a traumatic situation, is exponentially vivid and visceral. Young kids do not possess the mental fortitude to comprehend such devastation. Instead, their experience may become internalized and manifest nightmares for years to come. These children will require constant attention and reassurance in order to thrive in the future.
As parents here in the United States, it’s important to provide our children with the opportunity to help others. Hope transcends tragedy if one can summon the collective will and strength to carry on. You can teach your child what it means to be human. A lesson that will reap rewards for a lifetime.
Below are some ideas on ways your child can help the children of Japan:
- Write letters or make cards with well wishes. If your child attends school, this could be a class project.
- Pack canned food or collect clothing at a local drop off point.
- Make monetary donations. Maybe contribute some money from their piggy banks.
- Learn the geography and history of Japan. Knowledge leads to understanding.
Suggested Resources for Monetary Donations
Red Cross – To assist communities impacted by the earthquake, the Red Cross is accepting donations through its International Response Fund. By texting the word REDCROSS to 90999, Red Cross donors will be giving $10 to to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami victims (the charge will appear on their phone bills).
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) – Catholic Relief Services is working with Caritas International and others to find pathways to bring aid to the many thousands stricken by the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northern Japan.
Oxfam – Oxfam International brings expertise in water, sanitation and public health.