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Americans Texting Millions of Dollars to Haiti

Cell-phone users in the U.S. have found a way to help victims of that massive earthquake in Haiti.

As of Thursday afternoon, American texters had donated more than $4 million to the Red Cross. All they’ve had to do is text “Haiti” to the number 90999 and $10 is added to their mobile phone bill.

The nonprofit mGive Foundation is working the Red Cross to coordinate the fundraising effort, which is generating about $200,000 an hour.

Other nonprofits are on board too. Yele, singer Wyclef Jean’s charity, is taking $5 donations by texting “Yele” to 501501.

Verizon Wireless says it’s received $1 million in pledges to the Red Cross through texts. AT&T announced that it is donating $50,000 to Telecoms Sans Frontieres to support its relief work on disasters in Haiti and around the globe.

This isn’t the first time the text message has been used to collect donations for disaster relief, but it’s by far the biggest. The Red Cross got $400,000 from cell users after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and $200,000 came in after the Asian tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people in 2004.


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