Sucheta Dalal :Technology via SMS becomes a helping hand for Haiti victims
Sucheta Dalal

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Technology via SMS becomes a helping hand for Haiti victims   

January 15, 2010

Setting a good example of using technology as a helping hand, the Obama administration has come out with an extremely simple—but fantastic idea. Anyone from the US, who wants to contribute to the victims of Haiti, can do so, simply by using a mobile handset.

The Obama administration has set up a unique number ‘90999’ to receive the $10 donation. The government has got major US carriers on board to allow people to very easily donate $10 to the Red Cross to help with the disastrous situation in Haiti following the major earthquake.

Till today, the SMSs have raised $5.20 million from over 5.2 lakh mobile phone users. Users based in the US just have to type ‘HAITI’ and send the message to 90999 to donate the amount. Users will be charged this amount in their next billing cycle.

According to, this texting drive, being run through mGive, a non-profit organisation working with the Red Cross, is also leveraging Twitter and Facebook to help get the word out there. Donations are said to be coming in to the tune of $200,000 each hour, so they are very likely coming close to $6 million raised at this point, it added.

Although there may be some questions regarding the utilisation of this fund, when it comes to providing help and support for any disaster victim across the world, no organisation does it better than the Red Cross. The initiative by the Obama administration is surely noteworthy, especially for countries like India, where there is hardly any information available about funds collection for any natural disaster and the details of the actual utilisation of these amounts.
Yogesh Sapkale

-- Sucheta Dalal