Japan Disaster Relief Tied Up in Red Tape

Sometimes trying to be of help to people in need can be very… frustrating.

Just ask the owners of six wineries in Idaho who wanted to do something for the victims of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear plant disaster in Japan.

The wineries stepping up were not giant corporations with deep pockets. Joined in the effort by retailer Coyotes Fine Wines, the wineries that wanted to make a difference were:

* Bitner Vineyards (which produces 800 cases of wine per year)

* Cold Springs Winery (4,000 cases)

* Davis Creek Cellars (500 cases)

* Fujishin Family Cellars (500 cases)

* Indian Creek Winery (4,900 cases)

* Snyder Winery (2,500 cases)

The idea was that on a designated day, the wineries would donate proceeds from their tasting room sales to the American Red Cross, designated for Japan disaster relief.

But after the press release about the effort went out, it was learned that the Red Cross could not accept donations from the wineries. The reason: Red tape makes dealing with any businesses associated with alcohol or firearms a red flag for the Red Cross.

That had to be disappointing to the vintners, especially considering wine is used in thousands of fundraising events each year to generate millions of dollars for a wide array of non-profit organizations. The Napa Valley Wine Auction, as an example, has always had a charitable component.

Sometimes you have to wonder what lawmakers and policymakers are thinking when they draw up their statutes and guidelines. The people of Japan need help, not red tape. If you’d like to help, here are a few ideas…


* The American Red Cross is collecting donations for its disaster relief efforts to help people in Japan and throughout the Pacific.


* Apple has posted a donation page on iTunes where you can use your iTunes account to make a secure donation to the American Red Cross and its Japanese relief fund.


* Save the Children is collecting donations and has dispatched an international emergency team to assist staff in Japan.


* International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Fund is collecting donations and sending relief teams and supplies to the country.


* The Salvation Army is collecting donations while its counterpart in Japan responds to victims’ needs.


* Donations to GlobalGiving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund will be distributed to a variety of relief and emergency services agencies.



* The American Red Cross is also collecting donations via text message. Donors can text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to give $10 for relief efforts.


* The Salvation Army is collecting $10 donations for each text with the words “Quake” or “Japan” sent to 80888. Donations can also be made by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.



* Check donations for The Salvation Army’s Japan efforts must be marked “Japan earthquake relief” and sent to:

The Salvation Army

P.O. Box 1959

Atlanta, GA


Posted in Wine Buzz
Members-only Wine sampler specials delivered straight to your inbox via our Cyber Circle newsletter.

%d bloggers like this: