Like many of us, my thoughts have been much with the people of Japan over the past few days. If your personal circumstances allow, you may want to consider giving to relief efforts through the Rainbow World Fund, a “an all-volunteer international humanitarian service agency based in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and friends community.” Donations will be used to help people of all orientations and identities, not just LGBT ones.

Why donate through them? Doing so means your money is counted as LGBT-and-allies money, raising our community’s visibility and showing us as caring members of the larger world community. RWF says that over the last seven years, it has donated $3 million in humanitarian aid on behalf of the LGBT community to communities in need around the world.

In an e-mail to supporters, Executive Director Jeff Cotter wrote:

RWF has many direct ties with Japan through our annual World Tree of Hope project which is a collaboration between RWF and members of the Japanese American community. We are in contact with the Consul General of Japan in San Francisco to see how to best coordinate our efforts. . . .

RWF is all volunteer run, 100% of funds raised will go to help survivors. . . .

To make a donation to help the survivors please specify “Japan” when donating.
Donate online at

Donate by check by mailing to Rainbow World Fund, 4111 – 18th Street, Suite 5, San Francisco, CA 94114.

If the events in Japan have made you think about your own family’s disaster preparedness, you may want to check out the information and resources from the LGBT-friendly American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as preparedness information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA even has an activity page just for kids. (FEMA has had its faults, no doubt, but its site does seem to offer useful advice for individuals and families.)