Since Friday I've watched news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan with an extra ache in my heart. honorh , a member of the Doctor Who and fandom community, was living in one of the coastal areas hit - hard - by the disasters, and was officially listed as missing.
She has been found, and is safe.
I can't tell you what weight lifted from my heart with this word. Despite not knowing Katie in what we laughingly refer to as real life, fear and concern for her kept me glued to my computer all day yesterday, awaiting news updates from dedicated friends like wendymr , who is owed a vote of thanks for her efforts. During that time, another friend, lindenharp , suggested that we show our support for Katie by decorating her profile page with the $2.99 Save Japan v-gifts offered by Live Journal. In roughly a day, 75 gifts to her earned more than $224 for relief efforts.
It's astonishing to realize that the Internet has this power to knit strangers together in a form of friendship that is unlike any form of friendship we've previously known. It combines anonymity and an impersonal framework with intensely personal emotional involvement. And it brings the world to us in a way we can't - and shouldn't - escape.
Katie is safe. But Japan still needs our help, as body counts spiral and nuclear plant melt-down scenarios and realities escalate. I know that we have seen and responded to so many world disasters in the past few years that charitable response burnout threatens. We can't let it, though. These people need our help.
Here is a very partial list of organizations who need our help to give Japan help. And here on Live Journal, the help_japan community is preparing to start a fund raising auction, as well as giving information on other ways and places to help. If you can, consider donating goods, stories or art, or bids.