In the wake of the Haitian earthquake, which has affected the lives of as many as 3 million people, the country is struggling to receive and deliver aid to its citizens. A major source of aid is coming via technology, specifically from text messaging and social networking Web sites.
The American Red Cross allows people to send a $10 donation by texting "Haiti" to 90999. As of Friday, Americans had donated more than $9 million to Red Cross efforts alone.
The social networking Web site Twitter also has helped fundraising go viral. Users in the Twitter community have followed the lead of celebrities such as Haitian-born musician Wyclef Jean, who sent out one of the first tweets about the earthquake just two hours after it occurred. It read, “Please text 'Yele' to 501501 to donate $5 to Yele Haiti. Your money will help with relief efforts. They need our help.” Jean’s nearly 1.4 million followers received that tweet, and more and more people are spreading the word to others about how to donate to relief efforts.
Are you more inclined to donate to Haiti relief funds thanks to immediate and convenient forms of technology? Are there better ways to collect donations quickly to help Haitians?