Many industries throughout Manhattan are donating part of their proceeds to help Japan relief efforts, in tribute to the close trade relations between Japan and the United States. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
Chef and owner Jehangir Mehta of TriBeCa's Mehtaphor Restaurant says he feels a personal connection to those affected by the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan.
"It's very disturbing. I think more so because of the tsunami," said Mehta. "I come originally from India, and it has hit parts of India years ago, and we've seen what devastation something like this can be."
Mehta decided to donate two hours of the restaurant's Wednesday bar and dinner sales to the Red Cross. He is also donating 100 percent of the proceeds from an upcoming children's cooking class.
"It's just very sad, but we have to deal with what nature brings us, at least in some way that we can help as human beings. That would be the best thing," said Mehta.
Also, the owners of the Tocqueville and 15 East restaurants are donating 5 percent of their beverage sales through March 22 to Japanese relief efforts.
It is not just the restaurant business that is helping out. The 2,600 merchants who work in the Diamond District on 47th Street Fifth and Sixth Avenues will make a dollar donation for every sale they make over the next few weeks to the American Red Cross.
They say there is a large Japanese market for U.S. jewelry and in return Japan contributes many pearls and precious stones.
"We export approximately $60 billion worth of jewelry a year to Japan, so we feel sort of connected with them as far as our business. So that's why we wanted to come to their aid," said Harvey Nagin of the 47th Street Business Improvement District.
New Yorkers may want to help out victims in Japan, but State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says donations should only be given to established charities.
Potential donors should:
Ask organizations how the donation will be used.
Avoid unsolicited spam e-mails.
Never give cash.
Before texting a contribution, make sure the charity has authorized contributions to be made via text message.
Be careful about giving personal information like credit card numbers over the phone or by text.
For more information on a charity, check the attorney general’s Web site at www.charitiesnys.com.
Donate To Relief Efforts
The Mayor's Fund is collecting donations for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Contact the Mayor's Fund or call 311.
The Red Cross is also accepting donations through text message. A $10 donation can be made by texting "RedCross" to 90999.
AT&T says it will not charge a text message fee for those donations.
The Japan Society is helping coordinate U.S. relief efforts and is accepting donations through its Web site at JapanSociety.org/earthquake.
UJA-Federation has also set up an emergency fund. Donations can be made online at www.ujafedny.org/japan-quake-fund or by phone to 1-212-836-1486.
Donors should make their checks payable to UJA-Federation of New York and write "Japan Earthquake Relief Fund" in the memo line. Checks should be sent to:
UJA-Federation of New York/Japan Earthquake Relief Fund
P.O. Box 4056
New York, NY 10261-4056
For more information on a charity, check the Attorney General’s Web site at www.charitiesnys.com.