How to Help Japan Thanks to SXSW

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The recent earthquake and Tsunami in Japan took thousands of lives, left millions without homes and destroyed a countless number of businesses and farms. It will take many years to rebuild some of what was lost, if it can be rebuilt at all. The country and its citizens are still reeling from aftershocks and fearing the worst with the issues at the nuclear plants. Even the parties at SXSW this week couldn’t completely obliterate the haunting video footage from our minds.

People such as Hermione Way of the The Next Web didn’t sit on their laurels drinking mimosas. They got out there and did their part to send relief to this country so ravaged by nature. She and a friend decided to raise money using only their iPhones, a Square device and their humor. Hermione performed several fun tasks in exchange for donations to the Japan relief effort.

Our buddy Drew Olanoff donated some money. Several other people did, as well, including a whopping $1111.11 donation from Tim Ferris. Tim challenges you to double his donation – are you up to the task?

The girls raised about $4500 in less than 36 hours, doing everything from being thrown into a swimming pool fully clothed to chugging a full beer – a task that Hermione hopes she never has to repeat. She also reportedly gives good neck and back rubs! They will continue to raise money over the next several days via IndieGoGo.

Another group has begun an “official” SXSW fund-raising effort called #SXSWCares. In just a few days, around $57,000.00 has been raised! This shows how much heart geeks really have, folks. We aren’t only concerned about the next big tech gadget or newest location service. We care about our fellow humans – often in a very big way.

The SXSW committee is putting their money where their mouth is: as of the writing of this blog post, they are offering up:

The next to donate $900+ receives a 2012 SXSW Platinum Pass. Only 1 left.
The next to donate $650+ receives a 2012 SXSW Gold Pass. Only one left.

That’s a pretty sweet deal, folks. If you have ever seen the cost of those particular passes, you’ll know that’s a bargain. Not only are you getting the ticket at a good price, the money you “spend” is actually going directly to the Red Cross to help the victims in Japan.

You can contribute to the SXSW Cares cause in one of three ways:

You can, of course, also help spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, your blog and any other websites you visit regularly.

Even a few dollars will go a long way towards helping the people who are facing devastation on such a large scale that it’s hard for us to imagine as we sit here in our homes following the announcements, product launches and parties that together make up SXSWi. If you can, I urge you to donate. If you cannot, please keep the people of this beautiful country in your thoughts, and spread the word to others where you can.