Donations are pouring into the Red Cross by text message to support the victims of the Haiti earthquake. The campaign, which lets you donate $10 using your cellphone bill, is spreading quickly on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. Within hours of operation, the program had raised $800,000
$750,000, and is quickly growing, according to the company.
After the magnitude of 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on Tuesday, mGive’s Co-Founder and Chairman James Eberhard was woken up in Pakistan last night by the U.S. State Department to get the short-code up and running, wrote Alec Ross, a senior advisor at the state department on Twitter. Since then, “Haiti,” “Text,” and “Red Cross,” have all become major trending topics on Twitter.
The message spreading on Twitter and Facebook is simple: Text “haiti” to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross for Haiti relief efforts. In general, Americans are largely considered uncomfortable with buying things on their cellphones, but clearly the traumatic events taking places in Haiti have left them room to reconsider. While reports from the country are still pouring in, it appears that many schools, hospitals and other buildings have collapsed in a nation that is already considered the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
A company employee confirmed that Eberhard was indeed woken up in Pakistan, where he was traveling on business, and said that ever since the call the Denver-based company has been “buzzing around, and donations are pouring in.” The employee said the results are “fabulous,” and that already $750,000 had been raised. Donations are set at $10 a text and individuals are limited to donating three times a month. On Twitter, Ross wrote that “#Haiti seems to me to be the first crisis situation in which @twitter is playing an important role connecting people and amplifying info.”
mGive said that 100 percent of the donations will be passed along to the Red Cross, and the company has agreed to wave all fees at this point.