As the situation in Japan continues to deteriorate in the wake of Friday's massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake, the need for assistance has spurred a number of stars to reach out to fans to enlist their help.
Just days after announcing the initial dates of his first tour, the My Violent Torpedo/ Defeat Is Not an Option Show, troubled actor Charlie Sheen announced that he will be donating $1 from each ticket sold to the Red Cross Japanese Earthquake Relief Fund.
Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda has also gotten into the game quickly, designing T-shirts to benefit his band's Music for Relief charity. One shirt features the image of a paper crane-like white butterfly above the LP logo, and the other one reads "Not Alone" in a red, white and blue font. Donations of $10 can be made by texting "MFR" to 85944.
After tweeting on Sunday morning, "Remember as you go about your day please #prayforjapan & if you are able, text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to Japan's emergency relief," Katy Perry followed up later in the day with the message, "Imagine ... if we ALL texted REDCROSS to 90999 we'd have raised over 60 million dollars for #JAPAN RELIEF! BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE! BE!"
A growing collection of stars is urging fans to donate to Japanese earthquake relief. On Friday, Lady Gaga sprung into action and offered her fans a special wristband whose proceeds will go to help the victims.
"I Designed a Japan Prayer Bracelet. Buy It/ Donate here and ALL proceeds will go to Tsunami Relief Efforts. Go Monsters," Gaga wrote. She also urged fans to visit the Citizen Effect website, where contributions will be matched by Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy. They've offered to match the first $100,000 donated to a special fund set up to help the Red Cross deliver emergency services to people in Japan.
Other celebrities urging action include Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Adam Lambert, Diddy and many more who've sent their prayers to those affected via Twitter. Britney Spears encouraged fans to donate to relief organizations, tweeting, "So tragic. My heart is breaking for Japan."
As the official death toll in the worst quake to hit the island nation mounted on Monday (March 14) to 1,833 — with thousands more believed to have perished — Japan was facing a growing threat from a number of hobbled nuclear power plants. A second explosion in two days occurred at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant on Monday morning, just hours before the plant's #2 reactor lost its cooling abilities.
While no significant release of radioactive materials is believed to have occurred yet, the race to cool down and secure the nation's nuclear plants is as urgent as the search for survivors from the devastating natural disaster. New images and video continue to emerge that paint a partial picture of the destruction in towns such as the 20,000-resident Minami Sanriku, which CNN reported had been turned into a virtual pile of rubble by the quake and the ensuing tsunami.
As gas and food stocks run low, Japanese citizens have been asked to ration their supplies while the United States and 69 other nations have pledged to help with search and rescue efforts.
For more information on what you can do to help with earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan, head to MTV Act, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.