Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Inspiration Behind Japan Calls (And What You Can Do)

By Tanya Meyers and Michelle "Moey" Mariano

After the travesties that hit Japan earlier this month, many were left wondering what they could do. Texting 90999 to the Red Cross was one way, or donating to a separate charity or even flying out to help directly… But for a lot of us, there wasn’ t much money to give, and anything more direct was near impossible, so all there was left to do was brainstorm.

Thus the idea for Japan Calls came about.

It started out as a very simple idea, inspired greatly by TwitChange. But many entertainers weren't on Twitter, or were already more accessible than huge names like Eva Longoria and Justin Bieber. So what more could celebrities give that people would be willing to donate toward? What would be a step above a simple text on the screen of an individual’ s computer?

A voice message.

But would any stars actually agree? How could we get their attention while simultaneously proving to be legitimate? It was a long shot, but it was worth making an effort. Armed with a group of highly motivated friends who simply wanted to help in whatever way they could, we began a net wide process of - well, pleading. Logging onto Twitter, Facebook, and any other social networking site that would give us access to entertainers of all kinds, we asked for their help in whatever eye-catching way we could. “ 15 seconds to help Japan” was the simple, but striking, phrase.

The response was outstanding. Celebrity names such as: The Veronicas, Mark Ruffalo, Sia, Jeremy Piven, Jenna Ushkowitz, Eliza Dushku, and Olympic Silver Medalist Sasha Cohen agreed enthusiastically on the spot. As the “ voices” grew, so did the crew of people wanting to help. Together with our team of friends, we signed 82 names onto the project in just two weeks.

With great anticipation, we finally opened up the auction for bidding on March 28th. (It will remain open through April 4th ). Donations are not required until after the auction has ended.) This is where you come in. The goal of this project isn’ t to garner fans to get personalized voice recordings from their favorite actor or singer, it's to provide a fun incentive FOR donating to an important cause. We have a list of charitable organizations for bidders to donate to directly. All we ask is to receive a validation of that donation before the entertainer is contacted. This is to ensure that every penny (depending on which charity one chooses) goes to where you intended. While the basic prize is a voice message, some entertainers have vowed to go beyond that. Matt Marshak wants to record an original song while Nia Vardalos promises a phone call! So what are you waiting for?

A great many soap stars have placed their voices up for auction, including: Agim Kaba (ex-Aaron, ATWT), Aiden Turner (ex-Aidan, AMC), Brad Rowe (ex-Murphy, GH), Davida Williams (ex-Jade, ATWT), Jake Silbermann (ATWT), Jennifer Finnigan (ex-Bridget, B& B), Karl Girolamo (ex-Kevin ATWT), Kelli Barrett (ex-Maddie, ATWT), Lexi Ainsworth (Kristina, GH), Marnie Schulenburg (ex-Alison, ATWT), Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake, AMC), Scott Clifton (Liam, B& B), Stacy Haiduk (ex-Patty/Emily, Y& R) and Van Hansis (ex-Luke, ATWT).

There are only a few days left… so reach out and help a country who needs us.  And who knows, you could have Winnie Cooper as your personal answering machine.

Go "like" Japan Calls on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @japan_calls.

For information on how to bid (Please read BEFORE Bidding!) click How To Bid and to place your bids click OFFICIAL AUCTION POST: Bid on Your Favorite Entertainers.


  1. The most important one works - the Official Auction Post link above (connecting to all the celebrity auctions). Once you get there, you'll be linked to "How to Bid" instructions at the top of the page. I'm not sure if links will post any better here for me, but this is the one for the Twitter.

  2. Nope, I wasn't able to get a working link within my comment. You can find the right pages at Facebook and Twitter by doing a simple search for Japan Calls. And I'll try putting the link to the Facebook page in my clickable name URL on this comment.

  3. I'm very proud of these young ladies for putting this awesome effort together and getting so many names involved.