Friday, March 18, 2011

Stepping Up To The Plate

by Dick Mac

I have been awe-struck by the magnitude of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The destruction is immense, the stories tragic, remarkable and uplifting, all at the same time.

Japan is the only nation to have been attacked with nuclear (well, atomic) weapons, so the idea that they might experience another destructive explosion of that magnitude is sad and scary.

At the end of WWII, as Japan was drenched in radioactive fallout, there was very little international travel, so except for the winds and perhaps some ocean-going vessels, there was little chance for the radiation to be carried anywhere.

Nowadays, there are jets flying in and out of Japan on a regular basis and we do not yet really know what levels of radiation they carry to their destinations. Time will tell.

It is at times like this that most Americans stand-up to be counted. We tend to give more of ourselves when others are in need.

I liked this news story:

Hollywood has made plenty of disaster movies, but the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan is no fiction and the entertainment industry has responded to the dire situation there with generosity.

Oscar winner Sandra Bullock became the latest to join the cause when the American Red Cross said on Thursday that she had given $1 million to help victims of the disaster in Japan.

Several other celebrities and Hollywood studios have also pledged support to the nation.

Charlie Sheen, the embattled Hollywood bad boy, is donating $1 per ticket for all his upcoming live stage shows to the Red Cross.

Pop star Lady Gaga designed a bracelet for Japan relief and within 48 hours it raised $250,000, with sales ongoing.

Singer Katy Perry is donating sales of glow sticks on her concert tour to Red Cross relief in Japan.

Earlier this week, the Walt Disney Co donated $2.5 million to the American Red Cross for humanitarian efforts in Japan, and it also said it would match employee donations up to a total of $1 million.

The Warner Bros studio has pledged DVD and Blu-ray sales of its movie "Hereafter" to Red Cross efforts in Japan.

The donation by Bullock stands out as one of the biggest donations by a single Hollywood star.

The American Red Cross, which earlier this week announced an initial contribution of $10 million to the Japanese Red Cross Society, said it was "extremely grateful" to Bullock and her family for the gift.
Bullock joins Hollywood pack in aid to Japan (Reuters - Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

It's wonderful that so many people are stepping up to the plate during this incredible disaster. Even Charlie Sheen!

I am attending a benefit concert by Sonic Youth, Yoko Ono, Cibo Matto, and others. Every penny is going to aid Japan. Nobody is taking money from the ticket sales, not the performers, the theater, the workers, nor publicists. I am lucky to live in New York City where an event like this is taking place.

There may be an event for you to attend in your area. If not, there are certainly plenty of charitable organizations that can get your money to those who need it most.

We can only hope and pray that things stabilize. That the nuclear power plant can be brought under control, that those freezing and hungry in the North will be sheltered and fed, and that Japan can rebuild without completely bankrupting their already fragile economy.

Please consider a donation to Doctors Without Borders/Medicines Sans Frontieres. At this time they are using unrestricted donations to fund efforts in Japan. They are not accepting donations specifically earmarked for the recovery efforts in Japan, at this time.

Donate to the DWB/MSF Response to Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami


Prasad said...

Now this is the right time to help Japan. Each and everyone & every country should help Japan.

Steven Pofcher said...

Charlie Sheen: $1.00 per ticket. Like he needs any more money.

Hey Charlie - Why not REALLY step up to the plate and give all proceeds to the Japan cause.