Mobile donations bring relief to Haiti

Posted by Emory Kale

You can text your help and support to Haiti. It's easy, it's viral, and it will help save lives. Text the phrase “Haiti” to the number 90999 and donate $10 to the Red Cross. Your donation will appear on your next bill.

We're not really sentimental folks here. Heck, we're misanthropes, but you've got to be a big bad bastard to remain unmoved by the images and stories coming out of Haiti. In the old days, a few months back in fact, we would have had to make much effort to do our bit for humanity. Find a charity, get a checkbook out, write a check, post it. Whew!

The Houston Chronicle talks about a guy who actually complete the process, but found a better way::

"When Stuart Johnson donated to the Indian Ocean tsunami relief efforts in 2004, he did it the old-fashioned way: with his checkbook.

A year later, he wrote another check when Hurricane Katrina hit.

But Johnson, a preservation architect for the San Antonio Conservation Society, turned to his iPhone in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti. With a pair of text messages, he sent money to the American Red Cross and the Yele Haiti Foundation, both organizing donations through a fundraising method called mobile giving."

Through Twitter and other social networks, the word is out and the impact has been viral. Mobile giving is the new platform for pledging, but unlike your typical pledge this one is instantaneously paid out. All you have to do is text the phrase "Haiti" to the number 90999 and you will automatically donate $10 to the Red Cross. The donation will appear on your next cell phone bill.

On Thursday, The Mobile Giving Foundation put out a statement saying, "In 36 hours, donations made via mobile phones for Haiti earthquake relief have surpassed $7 million."Not bad. They'll probably need more. And, there have been other instances of carriers acting useful in a crisis. T-Mobile has gone as far as to waive some of its charges in and out of Haiti. Well, that one was good publicity more than generosity, perhaps.

Oh, well, every little bit helps.