The situation in Japan isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse. Luckily, the number of ways you can help is increasing, and some of those relief efforts are available quickly and easily through your Mac or iOS device, so failure to act isn’t an option.
Donate Through iTunes
Apple is accepting donations through the iTunes music store on behalf of Japan. Just open up iTunes on your Mac, navigate to the Store in the source menu and click on the “Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Donate Here” button, or simply click this link to be taken to the donation page. You can contribute anywhere from $5 to $200 here, and 100 percent of your money goes directly to the American Red Cross’ disaster relief efforts.
Donate Directly From the iPhone
If you’re using your iPhone or iPad, unfortunately the above link doesn’t work and Apple isn’t offering a donation page on those devices as of yet, but you can text REDCROSS to 90999 from your iPhone to give $10 to the American Red Cross.
Support App Developers Helping Out
Some App Store developers and publishers are donating the entire proceeds of sales of their apps to the Japanese relief efforts for a limited time. Capcom is donating all proceeds from the sale of Super Street Fighter IV for the iPhone, which currently sells for $0.99 in the App Store, from Mar. 15 to Mar. 21. Japanese developer Motion Portrait, which has 12 iPhone apps for sale, has reduced the price of each to $0.99 and is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from all sales to relief efforts between now and Mar. 31. Tunemark Radio for the iPad is also donating all proceeds of the sales of its $0.99 app to the Red Cross and Salvation Army in support of Japan through Mar. 20. Zynga is turning in-app purchases into donation tools, by donating 100 percent of the proceeds from various in-game items in its FarmVille, CityVille and FrontierVille titles to relief efforts.
AppRelief.com operated as a central hub for disaster relief efforts originating from App Store sales last year when Haiti was struck, raising more than $30,000, and the site’s organizers have announced plans to put together a Japan-focused campaign soon, so watch that space for more apps joining in.
Apple itself is helping directly, too, as you can read in this amazing story from an Apple Store employee living in Japan posted on Kevin Rose’s personal blog. If you have any other relief efforts you know of, or just other ways for people to help, let us know in the comments.