Mobile help for Haiti

By Julia Kim

Staff Writer

Tuesday, Jan. 12. A day most will forget; a day most Haitians will never forget.

Relief efforts have expanded in multiple ways just three days after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti. Typical aid comes in forms of monetary donations to the American Red Cross and item donations to organizations. This time, technology is catching up with text messages.

Mobile phone users can text “HAITI” to 90999 to make a simple donation of $10. This mobile campaign has become an easy and popular way to donate in just a matter of days and has raised more than $10 million.

All four major wireless carriers – Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint – are supporting this relatively new campaign, and most have given a direct portion of their share immediately.

However, this is not the first time such an effort has been seen. In 2005, text messaging raised $400,000 after Hurricane Katrina, and in 2004, a similar campaign raised $200,000 after the Indian Ocean tsumami. Yet, this is by far the biggest effort.

To find out more ways to donate, click here.