While I appreciate any heartfelt effort to bring relief to people in need, I am not participating in the Blogger’s Day of Silence. Why?
1) I earn money from this site, money that makes it possible for me to purchase the baubles that I love and give generously to charity every month. So it doesn’t make sense to give up that money to make a wholly symbolic gesture of support by staying mum.
2) I was originally going to participate, but then I realized that I would just be using the Day of Silence as an excuse not to post. And while I would love to have a break (Yesterday was March Madness and St. Paddy’s after all.), it’s pretty selfish to use a tragic natural disaster and the ensuing chaos as a reason to have an extra Stella Artois and watch basketball into the wee hours.
3) Thanks to my co-worker Virginia, I realized that shutting up for a day doesn’t bring awareness to the need in Japan. You’d have to be living under a rock not to know what is going on in the Land of the Rising Sun. All a day of silence does is cheat a lot of loyal readers out of a day of content and use charitable giving as a justification.
So while I think the hosts are very well-intentioned, I’m just not interested in shuttering my blog for the day because, really, who does that help? Not me, not my readers and certainly not the people of Japan. But if you’re looking for a way to give back to the Japanese, I have some suggestions for you.
First off, don’t you hate it when retailers, who mark up their products 50-70 percent, offer you a sweet deal like “For every $100 you spend, we will donate $5 to charity.” How generous! (Insert eye roll here.) So I was really glad to see that two of my favorite designers were offering a real donation opportunity for people who want to give while they shop.
Rebecca Minkoff will donate $100 for every red handbag sold on her site. That means she’s donating between 20 and 33-percent of the purchase price. Buy a fabulous bag (may I suggest the Beloved Mini?) and support a good cause at the same time.
If you love silver jewelry, this simple and beautiful Joan Horing wave pendant is $60.80. The price is symbolic of the tragedy (the wave traveled six miles inland after starting 80 miles off of the coast), and the full purchase price will go to Japan relief.
Love to cook? Or just love Eric Ripert? You can purchase any of his cookbooks from the Le Bernadin online store and 100-percent of the cost will go to Japan relief.
If you don’t want anything for yourself and would prefer to donate straight to charity, our friends at Bergdorf Goodman have a wealth of ideas posted on their Facebook page. From there you can donate to the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders or Shelterbox USA. I got together with a few friends and bought a shelter box ($1,000) that contains a tent and supplies to provide a temporary source of clean water and the means to prepare food. You can also learn how to donate via text message and via your iTunes account on this page.
So if you’re so inclined, donate a few dollars to the people of Japan. You’ll never regret it.
Update: A Twitter follower mentioned that Forever21 is planning to donate 100% of the profits they make from online purchases today to Japan. There are locations at Pentagon City Mall in Arlington and Metro Center in D.C.