Unless you’ve been living under a rock these last few days, you’ve heard about the catastrophe in Haiti resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of people. Since Tuesday, millions of dollars have been collected in an attempt to bring the slightest bit of relief to the people of Haiti. Substantial donations have stemmed from Twitter users as the social media site makes yet another name for itself in a time of disaster.
What started as a tweet from the Red Cross on Tuesday has since resulted in upwards in millions donated to the Red Cross. On January 13th at 12:38 AM, about three hours after the earthquake struck, @redcross posted a message on Twitter, announcing anyone could make a $10 donation to the relief efforts in Haiti by texting “HAITI” to 90999. Since then, the message has been retweeted countless times with more pouring in each second. As of 9 AM EST today, the Red Cross has received well over $3 million through the mobile fundraising campaign.
Facebook and MySpace users are also doing their part. MySpace has plastered a banner on their homepage, asking users to donate to the Red Cross’s mobile fundraiser. They’ve also listed numerous other organizations to which people can offer their support like UNICEF and Wyclef Jean’s similar mobile fundraiser where texting “YELE” to 501501 will send $5 to the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. Several groups have been created on Facebook that offer a variety of places to send donations. There are also fundraising projects through Facebook’s causes that allow users to directly donate money nonprofits like Oxfam America and Buya.org.
In this new revolution and boom of social networking, news and support spread faster than ever. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace have the power to raise millions, all stemming from a single message one person sends out. The power these social networking sites hold shouldn’t be underestimated. Have you donated to the earthquake relief fund? If not, there’s still time!