LivingSocial: Give $5 to Japan disaster relief and we’ll match it (for a limited time)

LivingSocial-charity-Japan-daily-dealHere’s a deal you can’t pass up: Donate $5 to the American Red Cross’s Japan Earthquake & Pacific Tsunami fund through daily deals service LivingSocial, and the company will match it with their own $5 donation.

The only catch: You must act fast. As of this writing (at 8:30am EST), there is only 4 hours and 30 minutes left before the deal expires (at 1pm EST). So far, LivingSocial has raised more than $1.3 million for the disaster victims in Japan.

If you didn’t already know, LivingSocial explains why its important to donate to the Red Cross fund:

Due to Friday’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent after shocks, Japan is suffering from what its prime minister is calling the “worst crisis since WWII.” The country’s northern coast has been totally devastated, leaving the land and the people in ruins. Just like you, we here at LivingSocial want to lend a hand, so we are going to match your donations. For each $5 donation through this offer, we will also donate $5 to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami fund. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy, and hope that by merging our efforts with yours and working directly with the American Red Cross, we can help with immediate aid and long-term recovery plans in Japan.

LivingSocial, a close competitor to Groupon, isn’t the only technology company to pitch in to help Japan.

Immediately following the catastrophic earthquake and resulting tsunami on March 11, Google launched its People Finder service to help people in Japan find their missing loved ones. All four major US wireless carriers, which includes Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon Wireless, have offered their customers free international calling and text messaging to Japan to help people in the US connect with those affected by the disasters. And Thursday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs offered company support to its employees in Japan, telling those affected that, “If you need time or resources to visit or care for your families, please see HR and we will help you.”

Charity in times of need is good PR for any company, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see LivingSocial extend this offer for another 24 hours, at least. But in case they don’t, now would be a good time to act, and have your money go twice as far for those who need it most.

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