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Remembering Japan

Milestones are funny things – sometimes they’re cause for celebration, sometimes for reflection.

For me, the anniversary of the Japan earthquake and tsunami is always for reflection.

I was getting ready to go to bed (I think it was sometime near 11pm)…the TV suddenly snapped into a breaking news story. I hopped on Twitter to see what I could learn, and it was true, Japan had been shaking for MINUTES. Now, I live in California, and we occasionally get earthquakes, but the thought of my world shaking uncontrollably for MINUTES was mind blowing.

We all saw what happened after – we saw footage of the waves literally wiping towns off the map. On the West Coast, we watched the wave sets get interrupted and altered by the quake and tsunami. The American Red Cross was reaching out to our partners in Japan shortly thereafter and became part of the world-wide effort to provide relief to those who would be on a very long road to recovery.

As disasters unfold on TV, we all feel helpless – I don’t care how seasoned you may be, seeing the strife, the sheer magnitude of the destruction, and knowing that there is a VERY long road ahead makes you pause, and makes you wonder, “what can I do?”

Here’s the easiest, and most rewarding thing you can do: Become a Red Cross volunteer. Call your local chapter, ask how you can get involved, learn about the MANY ways you can help with disasters…because big or small, they happen every day in the U.S. and the Red Cross is able to respond through our dedicated, talented, and caring volunteer network.

Don’t let the next big disaster we have in the U.S. leave you feeling helpless. Don’t be forced to watch your TV wondering what you can do to help…

Empower yourself. Become a volunteer.

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