Sunday 26 June 2011

Blog Tour De Force: Please welcome J.C Martin from Stories For Sendai!

Stories for Sendai
I am really grateful to Jessica for agreeing to host a leg of Stories for Sendai’s Blog Tour de Force! You can keep up with the tour and scheduled stops here!
Since we started this project, I have received some queries from generous souls about how they could help the people of Japan. In the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, there has been a tremendous outpouring of donations worldwide to charity organisations involved in aid and rescue efforts. This resulted in a heap of appeals for Japan cropping up in the weeks following the disaster, some of which are still active today. While this demonstrates the innate generosity and empathy of the human race, the vast range of organisations to donate to, and the many ways to donate (PayPal, in person, by text, etc.) could be overwhelming. Which organisation would make the most of my donation? Which method of donation is most effective? Donating by text is becoming increasingly popular, and it's one of the easiest ways to donate, but is it the best way?
Additionally, there are concerns about possible scam appeals, where your donation may never reach its intended beneficiary. How can you determine if an appeal is a bona fide charity, or a scheme cooked up by some opportunistic crook cashing in on someone else’s misery?

Here are a few pointers to ensure your donation goes where you intend it:
  • You can't go wrong with donating directly to the big names: the Red Cross, Save the ChildrenInternational Medical Corps.etc. After all, they are huge international organisations with an established infrastructure to react quickly and efficiently in times of crisis. While some people may argue that the CEOs of big charities are receiving inflated salaries that could be put to better use, they do get over 90% of your donation to where it’s needed.
  • Some people prefer donating to smaller charities in the belief that they are friendlier, and that their donation will go a longer way. This may not always be true. Conduct a little research before deciding on the charity you want to donate to. Sites like provide very useful breakdowns of how efficiently each charity utilises the donations they receive.
  • Be careful of charities you've never heard of; check them up on watchdog sites such as Charity Watch.
  • Donate directly to organisations rather than through a group soliciting on a charity's behalf. Such groups often take a percentage cut of contributions.
  • Be super-cautious of so-called 'charities' that contact you directly for donations, e.g. by phone or text. Legit organisations will not do that!
  • Can't decide on which charity to give to? Global Giving is a project which disburses funds to aid and rescue efforts on the ground that needs it most. They ensure that at least 90% of your contribution gets to organisations at ground zero within 60 days, and the percentage to cover overheads is well below the average charity.
Of course, one other way to give to charity is to purchase a copy of Stories for Sendai when it releases! Not only will all proceeds go to Global Giving, you get a lovely book filled with 20 uplifting and inspirational stories! Additionally, if you email us a receipt of your purchase, you’ll be entered in a draw for uber-cool prizes, including manuscript or query critiques! Visit the Stories for Sendai site for more details!

Also, if you do intend to purchase a copy of Stories for Sendai, we would really appreciate if you could do so on the actual release day itself, on June 30th. If everybody buys a copy on the same day, it’ll help boost the book’s rankings on the Amazon charts, and further increase our exposure!

Thank you!


  1. Congrats to all of you involved in this project, you totally rock. And I absolutely will buy the book on June 30th.


  2. You are all doing a wonderful job and congrats I will certainly buy the book.

    Thanks to for Jessica for hostong this wonderful blog,


  3. What a good idea putting up these links. We are getting ready to make a donation in the name of a friend who has died. I may just have to use one of these!

  4. Oooo, I'm on the Stories for Sendai blog tour, and I didn't even know about the prizes. I'd better add this info to my blog post!

    It's a wonderful cause, and I look forward to reading the book.

  5. Thanks for the tips on charities! We usually give directly to the Red Cross unless it's a local charity.

  6. These are great tips. I have a few standard charities I donate to that I trust but I think this is a worthy cause. I will buy a book!

  7. Thanks for the comments, guys! I'm glad you found the post helpful! Really appreciate everyone's support for the project! The book is sooo close to publication now, I'm getting super-excited! :)

  8. Theresa: Oops, sorry, I must have forgotten to mention the prize draw! :P

  9. Thank so much for guest posting JC! I hope it helps! :o)

  10. I'm sure it will, Jessica! Thanks for your time and the use of your blog!


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