Appeal for help: Japan Earthquake

Swa­mi Med­hasanan­da, head of the Vedan­ta Soci­ety of Japan, has issued an appeal for dona­tions to help the Japan­ese peo­ple suf­fer­ing in the after­math of the dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake, tsuna­mi, and nuclear dis­as­ter. The Vedan­ta Cen­ter is accept­ing dona­tions for this cause, and will trans­fer all funds to the Vedan­ta Soci­ety of Japan. Make checks payable to the Vedan­ta Cen­ter, marked with “Japan Relief”.

Update: $4,458 has been donat­ed and wired to Japan.

The swa­mi writes in part:

The loss of life and prop­er­ty and shel­ter caused by this two-fold nat­ur­al dis­as­ter con­tin­ues to heap tremen­dous suf­fer­ing to innu­mer­able sur­vivors. Some of the most severe­ly hit areas have been ren­dered inac­ces­si­ble. … The seri­ous­ness of this sit­u­a­tion has been wors­ened by the dam­aged nuclear reac­tors … at Fukushi­ma Pre­fec­ture and the ongo­ing efforts toward pre­vent­ing melt­downs and lim­it­ing extreme­ly dan­ger­ous radi­a­tion leak­ages affect­ing the atmos­phere, drink­ing water, veg­etable etc. in vary­ing degrees. …

Although Japan expe­ri­ences earth­quakes and tsuna­mi fair­ly reg­u­lar­ly, the scale and mag­ni­tude of the con­cur­rent dis­as­ters are unprece­dent­ed and the entire nation is reel­ing from the impact. The Rama­kri­shna Mis­sion has a long tra­di­tion of pro­vid­ing exten­sive relief to the vic­tims of nat­ur­al dis­as­ters, and as the Japan branch of the Mis­sion, we, the monk and devo­tees of the Vedan­ta Soci­ety of Japan, are won­der­ing if we can be of some ser­vice to the vic­tims dur­ing this moment of nation­al cri­sis. We have been con­sid­er­ing var­i­ous options, includ­ing mobi­liz­ing some funds col­lect­ed from our devo­tees and friends and sym­pa­thet­ic peo­ple from with­in this coun­try and from abroad. In fact, we have been receiv­ing many phone calls and emails from dif­fer­ent coun­tries, includ­ing India, since this dis­as­ter began to unfold. These con­cerned peo­ple not only express their sym­pa­thies and prayers for the vic­tims, they also inquire what they may do to direct­ly help the afflict­ed.

As such, may we request that you take the ini­tia­tive to mobi­lize a fund dri­ve and send what­ev­er is col­lect­ed to the Japan Branch of the Mis­sion through a bank trans­fer? We, in turn, intend to give monies to local gov­ern­ments and city offices in as many affect­ed areas as pos­si­ble to be used as they pri­or­i­tize. Of course we will keep prop­er records of these dis­burse­ments. …

We believe that any funds raised by you, regard­less of amount, will be great­ly appre­ci­at­ed by the peo­ple of this coun­try as a kind and sym­pa­thet­ic ges­ture from you and the devo­tees of your cen­tre.