Idol Chatter

The earthquake in Haiti hit its citizens hard, with emotional aftershocks resonating everywhere. The damage seems so extensive that people wondered how they could make an impact in contributing to the recovery. And then the answer came: a few dollars at a time, through texting “Haiti” to 90999 to send a $10 donation to the Red Cross to support American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti, billed to your cell phone bill. The texting-aid-to-Haiti initiative spread virally over Twitter, with nearly everyone – from celebs (@paulapoundstone, @johncmayer and others) Tweeting and retweeting the news of how easy it was to help, in small amounts which could make a major impact.At first, I feared this might be part of a scam designed to play on people’s sympathies. But once the Red Cross verified this initiative on their site, and announced this morning that over $3 million had been raised this way, my faith in humanity was restored and strengthened – this was a way to crowdsource aid to people who need it. The Yele Haiti foundation, run by Wyclef Jean, also announced they’d be accepting automatic text donations of $5 for those who text “Yele” to 501501. To learn about Yele’s work, filmed by my friend Liz Nord – a former MTVNews staffer – before the devastating earthquake, check out this video.Texting codes:”Yele” to 501501 (Yele Haiti)”Haiti” to 90999 (International Red Cross)

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