Gissing, whose mother is Japanese, set up the Ocado Japan Appeal donation page on JustGiving and is urging Ocado employees and customers to make a donation.
Ocado pledges to match the first £20,000 in donations and Gissing is urging other UK businesses to make similar gestures. At the time of writing the fundraising drive had already raised £83,284.51.
Donations will go Tokyo-based NGO Peace Winds Japan via US aid organisation Mercy Corps to, an organisation recommended by Gissing’s Japanese connections.
In an email sent to Ocado customers yesterday (16 March) Gissing says: “Japan faces its worst crisis since 1945. You may find it a little incongruous for the co-founder of a grocery service to be speaking to you about a natural disaster occurring on the other side of the globe, and I apologise if that is the case. However, in the past week, I have spoken to many people who wish to provide support or help but do not know how to.”
Japan is facing a rising death toll and potential nuclear disaster following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck last Friday (11 March) causing a tsunami.
More than 5,000 people have already been reported dead and more than 500,000 people are living in temporary shelters as towns and villages have been destroyed.