As the extent of the devastation in northern Japan has become clear, our thoughts remain with our Japanese colleagues and friends. Because of Fermilab’s close connection to Japan, extending over more than 30 years of scientific collaboration, Fermilab employees may wish to donate to charities helping with the recovery efforts.
Two well-known, not-for-profit charities collecting donations are:
- The American Red Cross, which is working with the Japanese Red Cross and accepting donations through its website earmarked to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- The Salvation Army, which has been in Japan since 1895.
If you do decide to donate, be sure to check that the charity is legitimate. Scammers have historically used tragic events to entice people to open e-mail attachments or respond to solicitations for donations. Computer security experts are expecting a windfall of SPAM messages to arrive in users’ mailboxes, Twitter feeds and Facebook news feeds. These e-mails, tweets and posts will attempt to grab your attention with various subjects such as those indicating that unbelievable pictures or videos are available. They may also provide information on how you can donate money to the survivor and rebuilding causes.
You can prevent this by exercising caution before opening or responding to these messages, even if you recognize the sender and regardless of how enticing the subject seems. Read news updates from only reputable sites. A helpful resource to find out if your potential charity is legitimate can be found here.