Friday, March 25, 2011

What can our kids learn from the Japanese devastation?

The recent earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan has wreaked tremendous havoc on the families who live there. Can you imagine losing your home, your family, your job, your vehicle, your pictures and all your possessions at the same time? Their entire lives have been turned upside down. Trace amounts of radiation is showing up in the food supply and electricity is being rationed. Hundreds wait in line for water, food and other basic needs. The things we all take for granted every day have been taken from them. Mourning, shock, grief, sadness, depression, anxiety, feelings of helplessness and loss will have a tremendous psychological impact and may break the spirit of many. You may read more about the impact the disaster is having on those affected at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/weekinreview/20psyche.html?src=recg.

This disaster can help us as parents teach our children about giving to those in need. Kids like helping other kids. Here are some ways they can help:

• Give a portion of their allowance to be added to the family donation
• Organize a bake sale at school or church
• Sacrifice the money they would use to purchase a toy or game to relief efforts
• As a family, forego one meal out. This could be an ongoing family effort over a certain period of time with the savings going to relief efforts
• Set up a “pennies for Japan” fundraiser at school. Perhaps the class that raises the most can receive some kind of reward

All around the world people feel great sadness for the people of Japan. Their lives have been forever changed. Although millions of dollars have been donated thus far, the devastation will cost billions to repair. If ever there was a time of need it is now.

You may find several relief agencies at the following website:
http://www1.networkforgood.org/help-survivors-pacific-quake-tsunami

or you can just click on one of the links below:

Habitat for Humanity: http://www.habitat.org/
Catholic Relief Services: http://www.crs.org/
Salvation Army: http://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/
Feed My Starving Children: http://www.fmsc.org/page.aspx?pid=398
Catholic Relief Services: http://www.crs.org/
Salvation Army: http://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/
World Vision: http://www.worldvision.org/
Send International: https://www.send.org/donate/?contributable=389
ECLA: https://community.elca.org/netcommunity/page.aspx?pid=631
Feed the Children: http://www.feedthechildren.org/
Islamic Relief USA: http://www.islamicreliefusa.org/japan?gclid=CObota2T46cCFU9pKgodR0zN-Q

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