Early this year I sold my condo, quit my job, and moved to Japan. My girlfriend came with me.

Now a lot of people are worried about us. You open up the paper, you listen to the radio, you look online and the media is pronouncing the worst-case scenario: Japan is the next Atlantis. I don’t want to downplay the tragedy. The earthquakes and Tsunamis were ruthless. Nuclear winter: frightening.

There are a lot of opinions floating around out there and so many ‘experts’ predicting contradictory outcomes that it’s hard to find the truth. On one side the experts are saying that Fukushima is going to be worse than Chernobyl and that all of Japan is done for. On the other side, you hear that the plant workers are in danger but the rest of Japan fine. The real truth is that no one knows what will happen. But there are a lot of people in Japan who are in trouble—they’ve lost their homes; they’ve been evacuated from their communities; they are grieving the losses of their dead and missing family members.

Both my girlfriend and I have done a lot of research in the past couple days. We’ve tried to become as informed as possible on nuclear energy, nuclear fallout, and the Worst Case Scenario. We know the potential danger we might be putting ourselves in by staying. We’ve discussed Escape plans and What We Can Do To Help plans and the truth is we’re doing the best we can. We’ve looked into volunteering but right now no one is accepting civilian volunteers. The professionals are handling it. We tried to donate blood but were turned away because we can’t read Japanese and couldn’t fill out the necessary forms. We haven’t given up. We’ve met a few locals in Kyoto and, with their translation help, will donate blood together this week.

The reason I’m writing this is that I want to lend a hand as much as possible and one way I think I can help is by telling my story and encouraging those back in Canada to donate money that will bring relief to those in need in Japan. If you are able to donate to the Red Cross, I urge you to do so. Even if you can only spare $5—it adds up to make a huge difference.

To give to the Red Cross you can donate through the Red Cross’s website or through iTunes.

Many thanks.