7 Digital Ways to Donate to Japan

The devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami has led to widespread power outages and the possibility of a serious nuclear disaster. As with past natural disasters, Americans are doing what they can to help those who were in the path of destruction, and technology companies are stepping in to make contributing esy.

The simplest way to make a donation is to send a text message to the American Red Cross. Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 from your cellphone to make a $10 donation.

But another way you can help your fellow physicians who are already on the ground on Japan helping to care for the wounded is to donate to Doctors Without Borders. Donors can give between $35 to up to $10,000 or more directly on its website. An 11-person team is currently working in evacuation centers with local medical staff in the hard-hit Miyagi prefecture.

“There were two local doctors in Minamisanriku who have been working in around 20 evacuation centers since the earthquake and tsunami, so team members today assisted them in their consultations,” said Emmanuel Goue, the emergency coordinator of the team, said in a statement.

The staff plan to start a small clinic in another town near Minamisanriku using drugs donated on Monday, according to the Doctors Without Borders website.

Meanwhile, some of the biggest names in technology have set up means to collect donations online. Apple, Facebook, and Google are all offering digital ways to donate to Japan's recovery efforts following the massive earthquake and devastating tsunami.

Through Apple’s iTunes store you can now donate up to $200 to the American Red Cross. The Red Cross also has set up a campaign page on Facebook, which to date has raised more than $111,000 for the recovery effort.

Search engine Google has set up a website that allows you to donate amounts between between 100 and 50,000 yen (2,000 yen is roughly 25 U.S. dollars) directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society. (This currency converter can help.)

If you’re into social gaming, Zynga, maker of the popular FarmVille, CityVille and FronteirVille games, is aiming to raise $2 million for Save the Children's Japan Earthquake Tsunami Emergency Fund. Players can donate by purchasing virtual goods within the games. You can also donate to the Fund directly by making contributions using PayPal, Amazon Payments or Google Checkout.

And finally, you can donate directly to Shelterbox, an organization that distributes large green boxes that contain a shelter, stove, blankets, water purification systems, and other tools needed in survival situations, through its website. The donation required to sponsor one whole ShelterBox is $1,000, but the organization will accept donations from $25 or more.