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SXSW Mobilizes Community to Raise Money for Japan Relief Efforts

Mar 13, 2011 – 11:01 AM
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South by Southwest, the nation's largest music, movie and technology conference, is mobilizing its considerable social media might to help the people of Japan in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that have struck the island nation.

The death toll is expected to top 10,000, millions have been left without food or water, and now radiation concerns grow as one of two nuclear reactors damaged by Friday's devastation went into partial meltdown.

With some thousands descending on Austin, Texas, for this year's SXSW and untold millions following tweets and blogs from the interactive festival, organizers are pushing to raise as much money as possible for Japan through the American Red Cross, setting a minimum goal of $10,000.

Elderly persons
Kyodo News/AP
Relief workers help feed the elderly at an evacuation center in Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, today, two days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country's east coast.

More than $13,000 had been raised for relief efforts by this morning.

"We at SXSW are inspired by our attendees' quick action and thoughtfulness," organizers wrote on the festival's website. "Our thoughts are with those affected by this horrible disaster and we encourage everyone to do what they can to get the word out and help relief efforts in Japan."

Donate by going online to SXSW4Japan or texting a donation to 90999. You can also promote the fund drive on Twitter by using the hashtags #sxswcares and #sxsw4japan.

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