Today’s post is a great reason to love and embrace social media. I am very saddened by the latest turn of events in Haiti. This country—which has been saddled for so many years with being one of the world’s poorest countries—now has to endure this latest catastrophic earthquake.
The strength of the human spirit is best demonstrated by a nation who has repeatedly endured war, multiple natural disasters and many a dictator who have ensured the suffering of many.
Mashable.com has posted on their opening page an article by Jennifer Van Grove. It discusses how the Red Cross has raised $1 million dollars for Haiti via a text message campaign. The power of being able to harness a viral campaign via mobile phones—for the benefit of others at such a difficult time—is an example of social media tools at their best. I also saw on Twitter today that Wyclef Jean (who is from Haiti for those that do not know), works tirelessly with his organization Yele is using Twitter to ask people to text Yele and donate $5.00. You can find his Twitter page at http:// www.twitter.com/wyclef. His website, Yele, can be found at http://www.yele.org. The Red Cross can be found at http://www.redcross.org.
It is the love and grace of others that will help see this nation and its people survive this most devastating challenge. Thank you to everyone who is reaching out!
Update: It’s now confirmed that over $1 million has been raised through text message donations.
We’ve just confirmed that the Red Cross has already raised more than $800,000 for Haiti through their $10 text message donation initiative (text “Haiti” to 90999), which is backed by the United States State Department.
Susan Watson, director of marketing and visibility for the Red Cross, tells us that they’re getting reports every half hour with the latest donation numbers, and the current total — as of 4:30 p.m. EST — is greater than $800,000 for text message donations alone. Watson says, “The needs are so tremendous in Haiti, and we are honored that people continue to give to the American Red Cross. Raising this amount of money, $10 at time, is a true testament to the American spirit.”
The Red Cross’s involvement in the relief effort is to be commended. Not only did it immediately set up the simplest donation method possible, but its social media presence and outreach, when combined with the State Department’s involvement, has turned this into a viral funding initiative, topping Twitter () trends and inspiring action. The Red Cross is also contributing an initial $1 million from the International Response Fund.
If you want to help the cause you can text “Haiti” to 90999 to send a $10 donation to the Red Cross. There’s also this collection of organizations that are accepting donations online.