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Fearing's To Donate Portion of Profits to Japan Relief

Fearing's this weekend plans to donate a portion of its proceeds to Japanese tsunami relief efforts, becoming one of the first area restaurants to publicly announce its charitable giving plans.

Spokesperson Bonnie Crail said she didn't know the exact percentage of profits the restaurant intended to give to the American Red Cross, but said brunches, lunches and dinners from Friday through Sunday would all count toward the donation. Fearing's organized a similar fundraiser after the BP oil spill last summer.

"There are a lot of scams out there," Crail says of the various aid organizations collecting money. "We kind of narrowed it down and the Red Cross seemed the most legitimate."

But there are persistent questions about whether it makes sense to give money to a wealthy nation that's already indicated it doesn't want financial support.

The New York Times this week reported the Japanese Red Cross "has said repeatedly since the day after the earthquake that it does not want or need outside assistance." Yet in response to a call from the Red Cross' international governing body for "expressions of solidarity in the form of un-earmarked financial contributions," the American Red Cross has been energetically soliciting donations. As of today, the agency had raised $47 million, including $2.6 million received via text messages.

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According to Slate, the American Red Cross has left itself a bit of wiggle room should donations received exceed Japan's need for financial assistance: "On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters."

So your tortilla soup could help rebuild seawalls around Sendai. Or it could help victims of flooding in Australia.

Among other Dallas-based businesses, 7-Eleven has also announced plans to raise money for Japan disaster relief. The Dallas Morning News this week reported the convenience store chain will begin collecting in-store donations.

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