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Student group 'Fights On' for Japan

Co-founder Evan Jones hopes USCforJapan will attract the interest and support of the student community at USC

Even while those in northern Japan search for loved ones and worry for their own safety despite nuclear meltdowns, students at USC are already finding ways to help support the Japanese people.

Evan Jones and Charles Rubinoff on Monday launched, a site that helps to simplify and direct the donation-giving process.

Jones, a grad student, co-founded the group Friday with fellow student Charles Rubinoff shortly after hearing about the quake. The team has been working ever since to further develop the website and spread the word.

“[We] got news about an earthquake and by the end of the day knew it was a much more serious thing than what we originally thought,” said Jones. “You can sit on your hands and worry, worry, worry — and believe me, I’ve done plenty of that — or you can get something done.” directs visitors to Doctors Without Borders, a group Jones praised for its emergency aid in the past.

“They have an excellent track record and we were impressed by their track record and their impartial stance,” he said.

“The big thing you have to understand is that we don’t take any money directly,” he added.

Jones has spent significant time in southern Japan and Tokyo, and made a number of friends in the area he’s remained in contact with throughout the last week’s developments.

“I lived in Japan for a long time, a lot of my friends were in Japan,” he said. “I keep tabs on a lot of people.”

Jones said he’s been in constant contact with his friend John, who lives in Hachinohe, about three hours north of Sendai, the city hit hardest by the quake and tsunami. Hachinohe is another city that has seen tremendous destruction from the tsunami.

He said John told him last night he’d been asked to return to his normal job in the city.

Jones said power is still on in John’s area of the city.

But Jones said there was no mistake that this is a dire emergency for many in Japan, the reason he and Rubinoff knew from the start they wanted to help.

Using skills learned in classes and other activities, he and Rubinoff were able to construct the site in a relatively short amount of time, Jones told ATVN.

“Hey, we’re studying this stuff,” Jones said he told his friends. “We can just apply this and see how it works.”

After dozens of hours of planning and programming, the website launched Monday.

Jones said many at USC have been eager to help the upstart group get going.

“What we’ve seen though is basically groundswell from people from our department who say they’ll [help],” he said.

“Now we’re just trying to push it,” said Jones. “We’re kinda seeing things gain traction and letting people know what we’re about.”

Jones asks visitors to visit for more information, and follow @USCforJapan on Twitter for the very latest. The group is also reachable on Facebook at

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