Monday, February 22, 2010

Social Media Aids Haiti

For the past week, the devastation caused by the earthquakes in Haiti has been all over the news and there have been a number of requests encouraging people to make donations to aid victims. One of the most effective ways of donating to Haiti relief has been via social networking sites and mobile communications. ABC news shared a story online about celebrities and their efforts to raise money, in particular Wyclef Jean and his Yele Haiti Foundation.

According to the ABC News report:

Many of the celebrity tweets are directing people to Jean and his Yele Haiti Foundation. Users of mobile devices can make an instant donation of $5 to the charity by texting ‘Yele’ to 501501. The charge later will appear on the donor's telephone bill.

In only one day, twitter followers had donated over $1 million to the Yele Haiti Foundation.

After news broke of the earthquake, celebrities used their Facebook and Twitter accounts to ask for help from their millions of followers. In less than 48 hours, UNICEF raised over $3 million with the help of celebrities and their tweets, and the American Red Cross tweeted that in only four hours they raised over $7 million.

Social media vehicles provide a convenient and safe way to be part of the Haiti relief process. The disaster in Haiti is heartbreaking, but the promise that through this tragedy social media has the ability to reform the way donations are reaching its victims is empowering.

Abby Draper is an Associate Account Executive. You can contact Abby at

Ed. Note – Wyclef Jean’s foundation has been in the news lately as it was reported by that Jean’s foundation had paid some of its funds for Jean’s personal use. Jean denies the claims. For more, click HERE.

You can donate to the Red Cross or Unicef, by clicking the links.

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