Like everyone, I am horrified by the loss of life and homes in the recent devastation in Japan. The scale is enormous, and as we hear more about it, many of us feel hopeless to help and scared about what it means for the future. Aftershocks and worries about radiation are all over the news, along with calls for donations, and occasional worries about scams, people promising to help, but taking money anyway.
At the same time, I am consistently impressed by the people who jumped in to help. From the first responders, the military, to the nuclear workers working day and night to prevent greater tragedy. There are people on the ground in Japan doing great work, mapping transportation routes, helping people find loved ones, providing food and shelter.
The Google Crisis Response team has been putting together many of these resources here: http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html, including ways for people to donate money, maps of the situation, and links to the Japan Person Finder app.
The Humanitarian OSM Team is also on the ground, with more information here: http://openstreetmap.jp/crisis/ about how to help with their mapping efforts.
Millions have already been donated. Millions more will be needed. Please help out now. If you want to know more about what Google is doing, follow @earthoutreach on twitter.
If you have other creative ways to contribute, please feel free to leave them in the comments.