This is another one of those posts that I've been wanting to write for a while.
When the Tohoku Earthquake struck this spring, my family and I wanted to contribute in some small way to the relief and recovery effort. I'm a little too analytical to simply make a donation to the Red Cross and move on, so my wife and I did some research and found a handful of organizations to contribute to. Of the organizations we discovered, the one I find the most interesting is Architecture for Humanity.
In their own words, Architecture for Humanity is a "nonprofit design services firm founded in 1999. We are building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design." I saw Architecture for Humanity as an organization that could contribute to resolving immediate rebuilding challenges, spur a little economic recovery, and leave long-term resources. They're also a good match for my value system. Ideologically, I'm a firm believer in the value of building and creating things; practically speaking, they have a demonstrated track record of raising funds and establishing global partnerships, so I felt pretty confident that they could actually realize that value.
It's been four months, and Architecture for Humanity's website shows that progress has been made on the projects that have been initiated so far, and a summary of plans for other projects. I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of their plans in Japan turn out. It's definitely a long-term endeavor that will require support over the next several months.
It took a big earthquake hitting close to home to inspire me to action, but hopefully it's a lasting inspiration. If anyone out there is interested donating, Architecture for Humanity has my enthusiastic endorsement. Even if you can't donate, I'd still recommend checking 'em out. I wish I had known about this group after the earthquake in Haiti hit last year.