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It’s been 13 days now since the tragic events in Japan unfolded following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake centered near Sendai. All hope for any additional survivors is gone, short of a miracle. The threat of further radiation leakage from the damaged nuclear power plants is very much still real. The weather has been bitterly cold, the survivors have been mourning the terrible loss of at least 18,000 lives, and food supplies are in jeopardy of becoming contaminated. The situation at ground zero is very bleak. Amidst it all, there does emerge stories of rescue and survival that give us a morsel of hope and a grain of joyfulness. The Japanese are such a resilient people, but they have been tested beyond reason. I personally want to send out my very best wishes for recovery to all the people affected by this terrible tragedy. Today marks a full week since I pledged to donate 10% of all sales from the Highwater Filters online store to disaster relief efforts in Japan for the rest of the month of March. I am happy to say, that as of this moment, I have donated $260 to help Japan recover from the earthquake. I mentioned last week that I discovered the website Charity Navigator and they do a good job of assessing different charities and give valuable information about how donations are spent and what type of services each charity provides. Groups are rated on efficiency and data is provided about administrative costs and salaries. I really found the tool useful to help me decide on where to send my support. After careful consideration, I have chosen Architecture for Humanity to send 10% of sales from the last week. They have a very high rating from Charity Navigator and I like that their two executives each make $85,000 annually, instead of the six digit figures of many of the CEOs of other charities. I like that they utilize volunteer professionals who can provide valuable services during emergencies. But what I really like is that these folks are already on the ground and working to help provide emergency support to build temporary structures for housing, medical facilities, schools, etc. It seems like a service that is sorely needed in Japan right now, and I am excited to help them. Here is their mission statement: Architecture for Humanity is a nonprofit design services firm founded in 1999. We are building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design. By tapping a network of more than 40,000 professionals willing to lend time and expertise to help those who would not otherwise be able to afford their services, we bring design, construction and development services where they are most critically needed. Each year 10,000 people directly benefit from structures designed by Architecture for Humanity. Our advocacy, training and outreach programs impact an additional 50,000 people annually. We channel the resources of the global funding community to meaningful projects that make a difference locally. Our clients include community groups, aid organizations, housing developers, government agencies, corporate divisions, and foundations. I have already made my first donation to Architecture for Humanity. Don’t worry though, I’ll be donating more on the 31st. So get your order in for one of our Katadyn portable water filter products and I will add 10% of your total purchase to the next donation. Thanks for stopping by!