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  • Final Push for Pagan/Japan Relief Effort

    The fundraising effort by the Pagan community for the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan heads into its final push this weekend.  The goal is set at $30,000 and as of press time, $28,631 has been raised since the effort began on the 14th of March.

    Peter Dybing

    Peter Dybing, First Officer of Covenant of the Goddess, has set up a fundraising page to gather donations from Pagans to send to Doctors Without Borders to aid survivors in Japan. This organization has teams on the ground in Japan and is setting up medical treatment centers.

    Not only is giving to a charity such as Doctors Without Borders in line with Pagan ethics, it’s a way for Pagans to donate as Pagans and be recognized as such. Several well known Pagans have joined Dybing in this effort and echo this sentiment.

    Ivo Dominguez Jr, author and owner of Bell, Book, and Candle says this type of public initiative is important for the people receiving the aid and for the Pagan community, “It is needed because many of us have given much and lead lives of service but I often hear us described as uncharitable by people of other faiths.”

    Circle Sanctuary Community created a Healing for Japan altar.

    Selena Fox, Senior Minister of Circle Sanctuary, agrees with Ivo, “It is important for there to be some Pagan charities that are visibly part of the charity realm.  This gives Pagans an opportunity to work together, and it lets those of other faiths, philosophies and spiritualities know that Pagan charities exist, which in turn, can aid in interfaith understanding and lay the groundwork for future interfaith collaboration.”

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    Well Known Pagans Join in Japan Relief Effort

    Several well known Pagans have joined with Peter Dybing in his effort to raise $30,000 to assist victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  Selena Fox, Starhawk, Patrick McCullum, T. Thorn Coyle, Anna Rowe, M Macha Nightmare, Star Foster, Jason Pitzl-Waters, Morgana, Ivo Dominguez Jr, Holli S Emore, and Katrina Messenger have all made statements in support of this charity initiative.

    Dybing has set up a fundraising page to gather donations from Pagans to send to Doctors Without Borders. This organization has teams on the ground in Japan and is setting up medical treatment centers.  Dybing chose Doctors Without Borders after seeing the great work they did in Haiti to assist earthquake survivors there.  ” I am recommending them due to their level of accomplishment in Haiti saving lives. Additionally, when this organization raised enough funds for its Haiti response it stopped accepting donations. It is important to recognize that organizations have a logistical limit as to how much they can accomplish. By suspending fundraising this organization demonstrated a commitment to spend funds wisely and not just take the opportunity to raise unlimited cash as other large NGO’s did.”

    Not only is giving to a charity such as Doctors Without Borders in line with Pagan ethics, it’s a way for Pagans to donate as Pagans and be recognized as such.  If you would like to make a donation, please click this link.

    As of press time, just over $14,000 has been raised in the 72 hours since the effort started.  There have been 212 donations with an average donation of just over $55.00. Donations have come primarily from individuals with about 5% coming from organizations.  Peter Dybing says he would like to “encourage people who may not have a lot of money to participate by giving smaller donations of $1.00 – $10.00″ (Disclosure:  I have donated to the Japan Relief Effort and as Chair of International Pagan Coming Out Day I have publicized the effort on our facebook feed)

    Below is a Press Release by Peter Dybing along with statements of support from Starhawk, Patrick McCullum, T. Thorn Coyle, Anna Rowe, M Macha Nightmare, Star Foster, Jason Pitzl-Waters, Morgana, Ivo Dominguez Jr, Holli S Emore, and Katrina Messenger

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    Pagans Standing By Japan: How You Can Help

    Reprinted from Patheos

    On Friday, as I watched the news and saw the damage caused by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami that swept the Pacific, I began to reach out to Pagan charities and get as much information as possible on the best way to help the Japanese people rescue, heal and restore. I wish I could claim I was overwhelmed with responses.

    Peter Dybing has been reaching out to his contacts to find the best way for folks to effectively aid in the disaster relief. He’s posted his recommendations on his blog. Here is his primary suggestion, and he’s asking folks to match his $54 contribution:

    My primary suggestion for donations is ‘Doctors without Borders. This organization now has two teams on the ground in Japan setting up medical treatment centers. While this is a well-known NGO, I am recommending them due to their level of accomplishment in Haiti saving lives. Additionally, when this organization raised enough funds for its Haiti response it stopped accepting donations. It is important to recognize that organizations have a logistical limit as to how much they can accomplish. By suspending fundraising this organization demonstrated a commitment to spend funds wisely and not just take the opportunity to raise unlimited cash as other large NGO’s did. With this in mind, a Pagan Community donation Page has been set up to enable donations to this organization.

    The Delaware Valley Pagan Network is also raising donations for disaster relief.

    I’ll be contributing what I can and hope you will too. If you know of other ways to show support and solidarity with the Japanese people and the peoples of the Pacific Rim as they respond to this disaster please let us know in the comments.

    Article by Star Foster, Pagan Portal Director

    Addendum:  via The Wild Hunt

    the Unitarian Universalist Association has set up a fund that sounds very promising.

    “Following Friday’s devastating earthquake and resulting tsunamis, the UUA has been in contact with our religious partners in Japan to express our concern and our willingness to partner with them in recovery efforts.  Our partners, including Rissho Kosei-kai, Tsubaki Grand Shrine, the Konko Church of Izuo, the Tokyo Dojin Church, and the Japan Chapter of the International Association for Religious Freedom are all in discernment about the specific efforts they will be taking to support recovery work, and the UUA will walk with them in the directions that are ultimately chosen.  Please join with UUs throughout the United States by contributing to the UUA’s Japan Relief Fund which will support the work that our Japanese partners pursue.”

    A partnership of UUA, Buddhist, Shinto, and Japanese religious freedom organizations would seem to help avoid the allegations and scandals that some international aid organizations are encountering, and work towards immediate and locally directed assistance.

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