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In light of the natural disaster that happened this weekend, the topic I was going to write about this week is on hold for a future column. Instead, I thought it appropriate to dedicate the space today to provide some information on how to help the people in Japan who are struggling to rebuild after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

ShelterBox USA in Lakewood Ranch is one of the premier international disaster relief organizations that is providing shelter and lifesaving equipment to Japan. Each box contains a tent and lifesaving equipment that can serve an extended family of up to ten people to use while they are either displaced or homeless. ShelterBox USA response crews have already begun distributing the boxes on the ground in the affected areas in Japan.

The cost per box is approximately $1000 including delivery to the people in need. For more information on ShelterBox USA and if you would like to help out, please click here.

The American Red Cross is on alert and as always stand ready to provide assistance. The Manatee Chapter of the Red Cross website has a link with more information on how people can help.

There are many U.S. organizations that are accepting donations to assist Japan. A list of several websites and phone numbers follow. (Note: The Bradenton Times does not necessarily endorse any of these organizations. The list is provided for reference only. Please check out each organization to make sure you feel comfortable before donating.)

Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)
Donations: 800-424-ADRA (2372)
Website: www.adra.org

All Hands Volunteers
Donations: 919-830-3573
Website: www.hands.org/donate/japan-tsunami

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
Donations: 212-687-6200
Website: jdc.org

American Red Cross
Donations: 1-800-RED-CROSS
Website: www.redcross.org

Donations: 203-658-9500
Website: americares.org

Baptist World Alliance/Baptist World Aid
Donations: 703-790-8980
Website: www.bwanet.org

Brother's Brother Foundation
Donations: 412-321-3160
Website: brothersbrother.org

I welcome any reader input as to other local organizations involved in the disaster relief effort. Please feel free to email me at the address below.


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