[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Laurie Hansen.  Also note, the IL does not endorse one means of contributing over another, or one organization over another.  You must do what is right for you.]

I heard about the earthquake on the radio this morning while coming home from dropping my daughter off at the bus stop. As I entered my still, cool Florida home I shuddered at such a disturbing thought. Imagine if it happened here. Imagine the world crumbling down around us, on us. How would I get to my family? Would I ever see my kids again? It is unthinkable.

I jumped onto my laptop to search for more details. My cursor hovered over a horrifying image. As if I could not make sense of it, a blurb popped up explaining, “A Haitian woman covered in rubble.” She appeared to be emerging from the debris, unaware of the person reaching down to help her and the two young boys next to her covered in blood. As she looked into my eyes, I scanned the page and found this link, “Relief: How to Help.” The link provides a variety of sites and foundations that pledge to come to the aid of the victims.

Interesting, charitable giving is coming to cell phones apparently.  People are making an online donations via text on a cell phone. The donation is charged to your cell phone bill.

Here is some info from the NPR site:

“Musician Wyclef Jean, who’s from Haiti, says if you text “Yele” to 501501, you’ll automatically be donating $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund. The charge will show up on your phone bill. .”

The State Department’s DipNote blog writes that “for those interesting in helping immediately, simply text ‘HAITI’ to ‘90999’ and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill. Or you can go online to organizations like the Red Cross and Mercy Corps Mercy Corps to make a contribution to the disaster relief efforts.”

[Editor’s Note: 90999 was a “trending topic” on twitter for much of the day yesterday.]

A blogger also notes: “Dear NPR, please keep in mind that you broadcast to a worldwide audience. It should be emphasized that text donations using the short codes listed above only work on US-based cellular networks.”



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