The New York Times

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday, thousands of Americans are sending financial support — through their mobile phones.
Courtesy of Michael David Murphy

Anyone with a mobile phone and an account with a major wireless carrier can text the phrase “Haiti” to the number 90999 and donate $10 to the Red Cross. That amount is charged to the donor’s cellphone bill.

The texted donations are being handled by a company called mGive, which started the campaign in a joint effort with the State Department and the Red Cross late Tuesday night. Thanks to a mention on the White House’s blog and lots of word of mouth on Twitter and Facebook, the campaign had raised more than $1.2 million by Tuesday evening, mGive said.

  1. fpp2002 says:

    Sounds like a scam to me. My mother-in-law works as a tax auditor who specializes in charities, and she says it’s amazing what kinda stuff they get away with. Before you donate money to any cause, it’s best to do your homework on their financial statements to see where it’s really going.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Haiti will get my support. I’m just not sure I’ll feel that way when/if the Dominican Republic or Cuba will get my support when/if they get slammed like that (Haiti’s nearest neighbors). As far as I am concerned, Cuba can suck it! Why couldn’t this happen in Havana?

  3. N74JW says:

    I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, and don’t see why Havana would deserve this over Haiti, but agree this sounds like a scam.

  4. Breetai says:

    Hmpf… I was going to say it doesn’t pass the smell test too. But it looks like it might be legit.

  5. TooManyPuppies says:

    “It typically takes about 90 days from the time someone makes a donation until the charity receives the money, Mr. Aiello said”
    Then this:
    “Each month, when people pay their wireless bills, the texted donations are collected from the carriers”

    You have to wonder, are you going to get billed recurring $10 each and every month, like most other text messaging billing BS? And just how long is it going to take for your donation to actually get put to task? Sounds like $1.2 Million that’s now in limbo and not going to get used in time to do jack.

  6. Evil Mr. Foo says:

    somehow i doubt any of that came from Rev. Pat

  7. Faxon says:

    Anyone wishing to donate to the Haitian survivors please send your paypal account information to John C. Dvorak, and he will certainly see to it that the money goes to the right place.

  8. nick the rat says:

    i can imagine this going into the wrong hands

  9. Mr Diesel says:

    It will be a cold day in hell before I send a dime to the American Red Cross. My family has had dealings with them in the past and it wasn’t pleasant.

    I wouldn’t text anyone a donation either.

  10. qb says:

    Word was spread by a twitter storm.

  11. RTaylor says:

    There’s no way a dollar donated today will reach those in need tomorrow. This will be a recovery effort for years. Few people trapped in wreckage will be saved. It will take days to sort out aircraft operations. The money you donate today to the International Red Cross will continue to feed and provide basic services for months to come. Personally I feel uncomfortable donating to religious based charities, but if they show up with food, water, and medicine along with bibles that’s great.

  12. moss says:

    Heartwarming to see DU readers work as hard as usual at copping out on social responsibility.

    BTW, donations up over $3M this morning.

  13. Dallas says:

    #8 Even if the Devil skims off 30% of the donations, the money is desperately needed.

  14. Brian says:

    And wait until people get the cell bill.
    10.00 donation.
    4.95 special transfer fee
    6.95 handling fee
    49.95 fee fee
    8.99 fe fi fo fum fee

  15. Conscientious Objector says:

    Not to mention how much money the Banktards will skim off credit card donations:

    FYI, PayPal is allegedly waiving their fees for Haiti-targeted donations to Save The Children, a reputable, non-sectarian charity:

  16. jstephe says:

    And just how much does mGive, mTake, my guess around 30%, then the leaders of the charity have to get the take, you know to run the company (Most people in a charity donate there time, but for some reason the guys at the top always feel there time is to valuable to donate so they get paid big bucks). Yes the money is needed, but all or most not just some.

  17. jstephe says:

    OK so I did some research after I posted.

    mGive, mTakes $0.30 + 3.5 % + a bunch of monthly fees (12 Month minimum) so this disaster just dropped at least $42,000 to there bottom line.

    See for your self


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