Mar 142011Japan Relief – How You Can Help


In the past 72 hours you’ve likely been deluged by the devastating images and video footage coming out of Japan. It is just heart breaking: the utter devastation, entire families and villages lost and people in other countries just waiting and praying that their loved ones are safe. But what the news isn’t telling you about Japan is that they are the world’s most heavily indebted nation. What does that mean? Well, people talk in America about our National Debt quite often and how high it is. Japan’s is much greater than ours. For their tiny nation it’s around $12.2 trillion.

The way debt works is that to raise money for your own country, you sell treasury bills or bonds. Someone has to buy these bonds and that’s how you raise money. Here in America, they are called T-Bills and the Chinese government and large multi-national companies buy ours. In Japan this is not the case, most bonds issued are purchased by domestic Japanese companies.

So what does this mean in terms of the earthquake and tsunami? Well, it means that the Japanese government will have a very hard time raising the money needed to help their own people and nation. The domestic companies who typically purchase bonds may be unable to purchase them because they too were affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Additionally, Japanese markets aren’t faring well in the wake of the disaster.

So, like much poorer nations, Japan will have to rely heavily on foreign aid and help from NGOs and other aid organizations. This is where you can really help.

:: Pray – Lift up the nation of Japan in prayer. Pray for peace, comfort, hope and above all for miracles.

:: Give – I know our economy isn’t the best and money is especially tight. However, think about how devastating it would be if everything you owned just washed away in a flood of water and you were left with nothing. If the person were your friend, neighbor, sister, cousin, what would you do? I urge you to give whatever you can – even if it’s just $5.

  • Red Cross: This is an organization known around the world as one of the first responders in crisis situations. Any amount will help bring food, water and medical supplies to those in need. Text REDCROSS to 90999. This will send a $10 donation to the Red Cross relief efforts in Japan.
  • Salvation Army: You may only associate Salvation Army with the bell ringers at Christmastime but the Salvation Army has a large international presence. They are an organization with very large reach like the Red Cross but with a Christian emphasis. Right now they have three emergency service relief teams working in areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami. One of the teams is assisting people who have been evacuated from areas threatened by the damage of nuclear power plants. You can also text JAPAN or QUAKE to 80888 and make an instant donation.
  • Heart to Heart International: Heart to Heart International was one of the first humanitarian organizations to respond to the devastating earthquake in Haiti and is one of the few organizations still there providing healing and hope. Not only do they mobilize quickly but they stay and help people in need even after others have moved on. Plus, Only 2% of all donations are used to cover overhead.  That means 98% of what you send will actually make it to the quake ravaged areas.

I know there are those of you that are so devastated by our own economy you can’t imagine giving what little you have. There are quite a few ideas on ways even the most cash strapped person can give. One of my favorite ideas is to go meatless. Eating meat can be expensive. Cut out 2 or 3 meats meals this week. When your kids or spouse ask why, tell them you’re sending your meat to Japan. Take the $5 you save and donate it to one of the worthwhile organizations above.

Leave a comment on this post today (3/14) and Saving with Shellie will donate $1 for every comment up to $250 to Heart to Heart International. Tell me how you are helping or just type your prayer for the Japanese people.

You can also blog hop and donate money by leaving comments on other blogs. Here are a few of those participating:

Thank you for participating. I know together we can make a huge impact.

Note: If you are subscribing through a Feed Reader or Facebook, you will need to click HERE to comment.


  1. Thanks for posting this!

  2. My God continue to hold you Japan.

  3. Aimee Dombrowski says:

    What a wonderful thing you all are doing! I will continue praying and also have donated! Thank you.

  4. My prayers go to all of the people of Japan and the families and friends of those who have been affected by this disaster. And a big thank you to all of you ladies who have taken part in this effort to help with the situation. Bless you. I’m new to couponing and you ladies are awesome.

  5. Heavenly Father, please be with those in Japan. I pray that the lost will come
    to know You and their hope be restored. Amen.

  6. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on those affect by the tsunami and earthquakes.

  7. Almighty, please help thou in trouble and pain, provide them relief, peace and food. But tell me one thing: How can you do so to your children? I’ve learnt that all your children are apple of your eyes, then how can you be so rude to your children in Japan. Please don’t be…please do some miracle and bring them out of this adversity because only you have the power to do so.

  8. We are planning to donate to the Red Cross. The devestation over there is just unimaginable.

  9. What a sweet thing you are doing by putting Japan at the forefront of your site. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be waiting for news about a friend or family member. I will keep the people of Japan in my heart and in my thoughts.

  10. thank you for making this important today. i can not even begin to imagine the devastation. praying.

  11. Thank you for taking action in helping those in need during this disaster.

  12. Great thing you are doing!

  13. What a wonderful way to help those in need in Japan. I pray that the lost in Japan will hear the gospel and be drawn to Christ through this tragedy.

  14. Our family donated through Salvation Army and we are praying for all those affected.

  15. Michelle says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with all those in Japan.

  16. Praying for Japan. Thank you for bringing attention to this on your blog!

  17. Thank you!
    God bless Japan!

  18. It is so hard to watch the videos of the devastation the Japanese people are going through. Thank you for helping…I’m planning on donating myself.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for doing this Shellie! The people of Japan continue to be in my prayers.

  20. It is so awesome that you are doing this. We too gave a donation to Heart to Heart International.

  21. Thank you for your generosity, Shellie! Our prayers go out to everyone affected by this tragedy.

  22. HEATHER D. says:


  23. Kathleen says:

    Thanks so much for your efforts in helping out Japan during this tragic time.

  24. May God bless the suffering and comfort the people of Japan. We are going to eat out of our pantry this week and use what I would have spent to donate to the Red Cross.
    Thanks for helping our friends in Japan!

  25. Lori DePriest says:

    Thank you for what you are doing! Sweet Jesus, hold these people in your arms. I pray that this helps them look to you instead of all the other false gods to restore them.

  26. Thanks for your donation, God Bless Japan.

  27. Thanks for giving!

  28. prayer for everyone

  29. Many prayers for all who are hurting and scared!

  30. My thoughts and prayers for Japan.

  31. we make monthly donations to our church. the church takes that money, turns it into emergency supplies and delivers it to those in need. we will also make donations to the red cross.

  32. Serena E. says:

    Praying for all those in Japan & those who are waiting to find their family and friends. God Bless you Shellie for doing this!!!

  33. Kimberly H. says:

    My prayers go out to them!

  34. i am praying, posting on blogs, and looking which charity i want to support

  35. Thank you for doing this.

  36. Melissa G says:

    Sending prayers to Japan. While at the same time counting my blessings.

  37. My thoughts and prayers are with them! I can’t even begin to imagine what they are going through

  38. Thanks for helping out.

  39. Hana in Boston says:

    This has been the best coupon/savings/freebie posting I have read all week! Thank you for makign this the highlight of what we can do. Many on low income can not afford large amounts to donate. Others (including myself) feel a bit nervous donating through third parties that may not go 100% or even 80% to the needed victims/country

    This makes every little bit help. I’d like to e-mail/post up your article with links and credits to you, if you don’t mind, for friends and others to see. Even if they will get this after midnight, as it’s 10 minutes of! But hopefully tomorrow some other sources will still work and/or give hints to other places.

    Cheers to you and prayers to Japan,
    Hana in Boston

    • Thanks Hana, you are welcome to forward on. I’ll be making my full $250 contribution regardless of how many comments I get so they are welcome to leave a comment here even after the fact.

  40. My mom was in Japan on business when the earthquake hit. She was getting into an elevator when it hit. She said the earthquake was horrible and the aftershocks were pretty bad too. She was terrified. I am lucky to finally have her home safe and sound. My heart goes out to all of the families that are affected by this tragedy and I applaud you for giving such a charitable donation to help people in their greatest time of need!

  41. Thank you Shelly for doing this. I appreciate your thoughts and efforts.

  42. Japan holds an extra special place in my heart: I lived there for several years. My heart is hurting for the people of Japan. Thank you for being so generous and donating to help them recover.

    I am planning on donating to the Red Cross, at the very least. My whole family has been praying for the Japanese people.

  43. Atltaics says:

    Pray for japan.

  44. Pray for everyone in Japan

  45. I am praying for the people of Japan.

  46. I continue to pray for the people of Japan and their families. I also have donated.

  47. the living God will take care of you Japan, I am praying!

  48. Kylie Lott says:

    Thanks for this. It’s so great you care.

  49. Ari Thompson says:

    Thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese in their time of need. I admire their enduring spirit and cannot imagine what it would be like if this were to happen to us.

  50. Elizabeth says:

    I’m constantly praying for them.

  51. Elizabeth says:

    The survivors are in my prayers.