$2M Texted to Help Haiti

Red Cross, mGive organize cell phone relief effort
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2010 2:11 AM CST
Updated Jan 14, 2010 6:36 AM CST
Volunteers pack first aid and personal care items to assist with earthquake relief efforts in Haiti at a Matthew 25 Ministries facility in Ohio.   (AP Photo/David Kohl)
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(Newser) – Americans have donated over $2 million toward Haitian relief efforts through what organizers say is the biggest cell phone donation campaign ever mobilized. Anybody with a cell phone account with a major carrier can donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting "Haiti" to the number 90999. The donation appears on the giver's bill. Online fundraising company mGive launched the campaign yesterday together with the State Department and the Red Cross.

The firm has waived its usual transaction fees for the Haiti effort. "Catastrophic fundraising is different from the everyday fundraising that we help facilitate,” mGive's chief executive tells the New York Times. “This is a huge tragedy, and we simply hope to help provide relief.” Haitian-born musician Wyclef Jean is taking part in a similar effort. People can donate $5 to his charity by texting "YELE” to 501501.

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