Earlier this week, we issued a call for small businesses to donate what they could to relief efforts in Japan, which has been devastated by an earthquake, tsunami and an ongoing threat of meltdown at its nuclear power plants. I’m sure some of you have responded, and if you have, we’d love to hear from you about why you decided to do it.
I also wanted to highlight some of the ways small businesses are helping out from a world away, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal. Despite a wide variety of backgrounds, these businesses are using their products and revenues to make a difference in a country suffering through a disaster right now.
Some of the coolest, per the WSJ:
- Radiation Shield Technologies Inc., a Medley, Fla., manufacturer since 1998 with 30 employees, has pledged to donate approximately 100 of its full-body nuclear radiation suits, which retail for around $1,700 each, to a distributor that will ship them to nuclear-plant workers and emergency responders in Japan.
- Survival-kit marketer 1-800-PREPARE.com LLC is giving away 15,000 water-purification tablets to Relief International. Last year, the company donated the same number of tablets to a nonprofit involved in relief efforts in Haiti following an earthquake that rocked the Caribbean country in January 2010.
- Meteor Games LLC created and began selling virtual cherry blossom trees, with 100% of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross. So far more than 1,000 have been sold for $7 apiece to players of the four-year-old firm’s Facebook game, Island Paradise. Meteor Games, headquartered in Beverly Hills, Calif., will soon also begin selling virtual Japanese maples trees for $3.50 and koi ponds for $4.50, and all proceeds will also go to the American Red Cross.
It just goes to show that no matter your size and no matter your product, chances are good you’re in a position to help during a crisis, assuming you’re not too cash-strapped to do so. If a game company selling virtual trees can do it, so can many more.
For an interesting take on what’s going on in Japan right now, I suggest you check out this article from Salon.com columnist and my former journalism professor, Jane Harrigan. As someone who used to live and work there, her perspective is enlightening.
Let us know about your charitable efforts in the comments.
Photo credit to EdwinP at http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=483818