Normally when you deal with a vending machine, you pop in loose change or even a couple of dollar notes, and out comes a bar of chocolate, some drinks, or perhaps for the more high tech folks, you might opt to purchase your iPod touch via a vending machine instead (which requires your credit card, of course). The Japanese Red Cross sure knows how to leverage the vending machine in a country where there is one machine for every 23 people or so, thanks to the “charity button” that makes it a snap for you to make your donation.

You can choose to part with either ¥10 or ¥100, where the normal purchase buttons will light up whenever you insert dough, although you will walk away with nothing but a feeling of satisfaction that your donation will help rebuild parts of Japan which were ravaged by March’s earthquake and tsunami. These units are special, being branded with the iconic red cross while featuring images of the work that the Japan Red Cross are doing.

From now until September, every single cent (or should I say, yen?) donated will be headed towards the relief efforts of the earthquake. Once September passes, they will remain passive sources of income for the Red Cross.

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