Several options exist for individuals who wish to make a financial contribution toward general disaster relief. The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army let donors designate their funds for tsunami recovery efforts.
Those of us in the Scouting community may wish to send funds to our brothers and sisters in the Scout Association of Japan. James S. Turley, international commissioner of the BSA, addressed the donation process in an open letter to BSA Scouts and Scouters.
Here’s what he wrote:
This is an especially troubling catastrophe as the Scout Association of Japan (SAJ) has been one of our strongest partners in international Scouting activities. Our Scouting friends and their families need our help; words of encouragement as well as financial contributions to help rebuild lost lives are needed most.
The international leadership of the Scout Association of Japan has asked the BSA not to try to raise money at this time. However, our BSA members are a giving people, and many of us still wish to reach out with some sort of assistance. This defines who we are!
To make a contribution to help rebuild lost Scout-owned facilities and lost Scouting materials (the BSA International Committee will forward this money at a later, more appropriate time), you may make a contribution to the BSA World Friendship Fund.
Yes, our friends at the SAJ have not requested assistance from the BSA. There will come a time when it is appropriate to forward money collected through the World Friendship Fund. It just seems right to Be Prepared now for the need in the future.
Scouts across the globe know that doing a Good Turn without being asked is something we all learned from our time in Scouting. It was one of Baden-Powell’s visions, and we have an opportunity now to do a Good Turn for the SAJ. I hope you’ll join us.
If you aren’t able to give a financial gift right now, words of encouragement can go a long way during tough times. Click here to send an e-mail message to the Scout Association of Japan.
In other Japan news:
I also wanted to share a brief story I came across last week as the disaster was unfolding.
On Friday, about 500 commercial airline passengers bound for Tokyo were diverted to the Yokota Air Base, a U.S. base in central Japan.
And who, along with the excellent military personnel, was there to offer assistance to these passengers? You guessed it: the Boy Scouts.