You can help too. Visit jasonkelly.com/helpjapan/.
I first met Jason Kelly last year when I reviewed his radical personal finance book, "Financially Stupid People are Everywhere, Don't be One of Them." Both the book and Jason left lasting impressions on me. Jason's kindness and patience in helping me work out my opinion of the ideas expressed in the book were above what I expected from any author. Jason lives in Japan, so when the earthquake disaster hit, he was the first person on my mind. I recently checked up on him to see how he was doing and found out he is once again going above and beyond, this time, helping the Japanese find comfort in the disaster. While most foreigners abandoned Japan during the crisis, Jason dug in his heels and went to work helping. He is now delivering clean, fresh socks to the thousands whose feet are exposed in the cold climate.
Writer and Staff Running Charitable Operation
Since the earthquake on March 11, he and his office staff have been working tirelessly to help the victims who are without homes and basic necessities. His huge following knows he lives in Japan and loves it. Hundreds of them have been asking him what they can do to help. It’s good to donate money, but his focus is on direct aid, something comforting and cherished by the victims.
Help comes in many ways, but Jason Kelly is focusing on a simple item that can make a big difference in freezing weather. After all, winter's chill hasn't left Japan yet. Many people fled their homes with only what they could grab in a few minutes and some even without shoes. His office is close enough to make personal deliveries to the victims and yet far enough away so that his public services are not disrupted. The mail is still working and he receives the thousands of socks sent by well-wishers.
Jason and his crew takes new socks in varying sizes, remove all packaging, clips and ties, and then packs each pair in a sealed plastic bag. The bag is an added bonus for the victims because they can reuse it to keep other items dry. He prefers to include a short letter inside each bag, written by the donor. This letter is just a few lines that should say something personal about how the donor hopes the socks help and include warm wishes for better times to come. If the donor has visited Japan, he or she will have something personal to write.
Take Time to Send Your Good Will, not Just Socks
Care letters can be roughly translated on Google Translate and cleaned up on the website by someone in Jason Kelly’s office. There are also letters that are already translated that you can copy and use. One English version and one Japanese version of your letter should be included in each plastic bag. The victims from the Kobe earthquake in 1995 said the care letters were the best part of the items they received. You can even get a response from whomever receives your socks.
A small note that can be seen through the plastic bag should state man, woman, girl, boy or baby to make it quicker and easier to distribute the socks. Your email address and “Urgent Relief Supplies” should be written on the outside of each mail package. The message will help the package pass through customs quicke, and the address will enable Jason Kelly’s staff to send you an email when your package arrives.
Some worry that Jason's effort might be in conflict with local relief efforts. However, Jason is in contact with local and regional authorities, and is in compliance with their instructions about delivering the socks directly. He also rations gasoline and targets the areas closest to their office so that they use as little fuel as possible. Socks for Japan is a small organization doing a great service for the people who have been displaced from their homes and all their possessions because of the earthquake or radiation. Individuals in the U.S., Canada and around the world can participate by sending new, comforting socks to help the victims get through the difficult times.
You can help by visiting jasonkelly.com/helpjapan/ for detailed instructions on making your donation.
Jessica Bosari is an Internet copywriter and blogger for various publications and her own blog. You can read more of Jessica's work here. If you have any comments or questions about SavingTools or about saving money, leave your comments in the form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!