Jul 19, 2018

Helping out with disaster relief through our Co-Op Catalog

In times of crisis, the default response for many of us is "how can I lend a hand - even if I'm hundreds of miles away from the disaster that's occurring?".

One of the things I find somewhat difficult about being an expat is finding information about places to donate to relief efforts when a natural disaster occurs. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of specific charities or organizations who collect funds for these situations like I would be back home.

I was pleased when we opened up our Co-Op catalog this week and found a slip in there, allowing us to easily donate to the disaster relief efforts in the wake of the torrential rains and flooding that occurred in parts of Japan this month.

Helping out with disaster relief through our Co-Op Catalog photo

I really liked this concept for a few reasons. Firstly, it's as simple as adding a mark to a box on our order slip - and when we're filling it in for our groceries anyway, it makes for a very easy and convenient way to donate. 

Secondly, you were able to donate in either 100 or 1000 yen increments, or even donate your accumulated Co-Op points to the relief efforts. I appreciated this concept because to me it made donating accessible for anyone - even if you only had a small amount in your budget to donate, it didn't make it seem like only higher sums of money were welcome or appropriate.

To me, making it easy for people to donate to relief funds is something that ensures a greater level of commitment to them. My family and I are thankful that we found a simple way to provide some monetary help to communities who really need a hand right now.

Are there any charities or organizations you're aware of in Japan who run relief efforts in disaster situations like this? I'd appreciate if you could share them in the comments below - so that I know for the future. 



After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!