Victims in Japan

Commuters stuck in Tokyo are given food and drinks in the hall at The Salvation Army's Japan Territorial Headquarters.

The Salvation Army in Japan is responding to the earthquake and tsunami that brought devastation to the north of the country. Communication and travel have been badly hit by the disaster, and at the moment the true cost in human life and property can only be guessed.

The most damaged city is Sendai, about 400 kilometers away from Tokyo. Commissioner Makoto Yoshida, leader of The Salvation Army’s Japan Territory, was at territorial headquarters in Tokyo and reports: ‘Our building swayed tremendously. It was hard for us to keep standing and many of us were really frightened.’ He adds: ‘We are sending a team to Sendai tonight [11 March] and tomorrow we will start providing the basic necessities as well as assessing the level of damage so we can decide what else we can do.’

Public transport in Tokyo stopped because of the earthquake, leaving many commuters unable to leave work. Commissioner Yoshida says: ‘We opened our hall on the ground floor of territorial headquarters to those who could not go home. We served them with hot drinks and packed meals.’ General Shaw Clifton, the international leader of The Salvation Army, has already been in touch with the commissioner to assure him of the prayers and support of Salvationists around the world.

Currently, those interested in aiding the relief effort are encouraged to give monetary donations. Monetary funds offer great flexibility and enable local disaster responders to purchase exactly what is needed as close to the disaster zone as possible.

There are four ways people can contribute money to The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts in Japan:

  • Text the words “Japan” or “Quake” to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
  • By phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY
  • On-line at: www.salvationarmyindiana.org
  • By mail: Send your check, marked “Japan earthquake relief” to

The Salvation Army Indiana Division
3100 North Meridian St.
Indpls, IN  46208

At this time, The Salvation Army is not accepting in-kind donations from the general public for disaster relief operations in Japan. Bear in mind, it will be extremely difficult and expensive to ship in-kind donations overseas from the United States to Japan. It is more efficient for disaster relief agencies to purchase needed resources locally and for immediate distribution with the disaster area. The best way for U.S. donors to help Japanese disaster survivors is to make a cash donation. Please note that your local The Salvation Army continues to accept donations of used clothing, furniture and other items to support local programming. Please consider donating your used items to your local Salvation Army Thrift Store.

Since 1895, The Salvation Army has provided emotional, spiritual and physical care to individuals and families in need throughout Japan. Currently, 81 active officers and 1,068 employees operate 57 church and community centers (Corps), 12 small social service stations (outposts), 2 hospitals and more than 20 institutions serving children, seniors, the addicted and other at-risk populations. Due to the Army’s extensive presence, it is unlikely that volunteers from the United States will be needed for initial recovery operations.

NOTE: Terms for “Text to Give” – A one-time donation of $10.00 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Please be sure to respond with the word YES to the Thank You! message you will receive All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Visit mobilecause.com for terms and conditions  or text HELP. Text STOP to cancel. Message & Data Rates May Apply