A Culture of Caring: DIY for Japan

Japan tweettweet by skinnylaminx – click image for more

My home phone rang at 4 am. Unusual.

My cell rang. It was my dad. This couldn’t be good news.

“There’s been an earthquake.”

He was calling to tell me about Japan and the tsunami headed for the US West Coast. Later that day when I told someone how he’d called, they chuckled. Los Angeles wasn’t damaged, but in the early hours of disaster, no one knows. On 9/11, I received several phone calls from concerned friends even though I was safe in Virginia. In those early hours of uncertainty, somewhere between shock and panic, you make the call. No one knows.

In those early hours, the images of disaster are surreal. Cars tumbling like bath toys, homes transformed into floating torches, and unidentifiable debris in inky water all combine to make a wretched, forceful soup. It’s horrific, and yet, anonymous. There are no faces and stories to narrate the event. Just cars, homes, debris. It’s difficult to grasp, and difficult to relate to.

It’s still early for Japan. We’re starting to get stories, but so many more will come. We’ll hear about rescues, losses, and families. The disaster will become more personal as we hear about thousands of smaller disasters.

Why I am talking about this at Scoutie Girl? Because at its core, DIY is a culture of caring.

Have you checked out the new contributor interviews?  In them I see a common thread that SG readers share as well. We DIY because we care, in our own ways and for our own reasons.

There are many ways to express care on an individual level; MercyCorps, The Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and many other organizations are accepting donations specifically for Japan.


There is a call to action to be made: What can we, as a community, do for the people that are in need?

Please use the comments section to brainstorm, and let’s find a unique and significant response to this tragedy.

8 thoughts on “A Culture of Caring: DIY for Japan

  1. Thank You!!! I have been struggling since Friday to go through the motions and forge on with my work when it seems so trite in the face of tragedy. But what you say is true. We DIY because we care. What I create may not change anything in Japan but I am a change seeker because I care. We must carry on and believe that it still matters. I care deeply.

  2. Thank you so much for this article! I have been trying to figure out how can I be a part of a solution through OMHG and our network. One of my contributors, Jacqui of Mee A Bee is in Japan and participating in the Japan Earthquake Appeal + another contributor Marisa of Omiyage is working on another project. I would like to create some type of a resource list of ways people can get involved + to know myself! If anyone wants to email me with initiatives to include please do ([email protected]) + I’ll check back on the discussion here.

  3. Well, I’ve never done either of these myself, but I’ve seen linky party auctions and Etsy BNR Treasuries done with an eye to benefit an organization or even a person in need. Could we as makers, sellers, and bloggers do something like that?

  4. I plan to hold a sale this week on Feisty Elle and donate 100% of all proceeds to the Japanese Red Cross Society. Would be lovely to able to work with other shops and makers to increase the amount of that donation!

  5. I lived in Japan for a year. The country responds to disaster with grace, empathy, and goodwill toward each of the people in their community. Although the Japanese are not traditionally those who open up their emotional status they are those who open their homes to anyone and try to provide the best experience.

    They are very prepared for disaster, but no one is prepared for this magnitude of devastation. These people will need a place to reach out and connect in the future. This is an incredibly long rebuilding process but I think everyone will be amazed at the efficiency with which they carry it out.

    It is nice when people who care send supplies. But in the wake of this the thing that is really needed is funding. An auction of artists willing to donate their work put in to one location such as a specific WordPress site would be effective in raising a larger cash infusion. It could be promoted through Twitter, Facebook and blogging. The funds could go to a humanitarian foundation such as the Red Cross.

    Also to be able to make this a resource for people to communicate to the people directly effected in a future time through their art and words would be a useful and inspiring tool.

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