Texting and Tweeting their support for Haiti

After last week’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, people across the world are coming together to give their support to the relief efforts. A sign of the ubiquity of technology, people are increasingly turning to texting and Tweeting to show their support.

The US government’s texting program raised over $5 million in just the first two days of operation. The program allows cell phone users to text ‘HAITI’ to ‘90999’ and have $10 donated on their behalf to the American Red Cross.

BusinessWeek reports that the texting program, which targets a younger generation of philanthropists, has received 12 times the amount that donors sent by text after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

In Canada, all donations made by February 12 will be matched by the government up to a total of $50 million. This is on top of the initial $5 million Canada has promised to the relief efforts in Haiti. For more information on the donation matching program, the Canadian government has provided some FAQs.

People are also lending their support by sharing resources and updates through social media. Pierre and Pam Omidyar of the Omidyar Network are providing constant updates through Twitter about the crisis as well as sharing tools for those who may be looking for loved ones. BRAC USA is also sharing resources through Twitter.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama offered his prayers on Friday, saying, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives…I offer my prayers for those who have lost their lives in this tragedy and condolences to their families and others affected by this natural disaster.”

In Canada, CBC has provided a list of charities to which Canadians can donate. In the US, Charity Navigator has compiled a list of reputable charities as well as some tips on how to best contribute to the relief efforts.

If you have any suggestions on how we can all lend our support to the Haitian people, let us know in the comments below.

photo: American Red Cross/Talia Frenkel



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