Twitter Blog: Hello, Haiti

Great news from Twitter! Free SMS for users in Haiti!

If you have been following the events in Haiti since the devastating quake last month, then y

ou cialis canada know of the initial bursts of compassion. International dialogue now shifts from lifesaving relief to long term restoration. Officials are saying this may take ten years at a cost of billions.

Post-disaster needs assessment is underway and there will be an international donor conference late next month in New York City. In the meantime, there are ways to stay involved in sustained efforts such as the WFP”s monthly donation program.

Kevin Thau and our mobile team have recently arranged free SMS tweets for Digicel Haiti customers. To activate the service, mobile phone users in Haiti can text follow @oxfam to 40404. Accounts are created on the fly and any account can be followed this way.

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Posted by @Biz at 9:47 AM

Super Bowl for Good Guide: Spice Up Your Party and Help NOLA, Indy and Haiti in the Process

The Super Bowl is hours away, but I’ve encountered one major problem as I make the final preparations for my soiree: nobody actually cares about the outcome of the game.I’m faced with the age-old problem of what to do when the Super Bowl features small/medium market teams. Sure, I love a good game, but football that does not involve the Oregon Ducks (heartbreaking season) just will not keep my rapt attention past one commercial break…and there will be many! Without some quick action, my big party could quickly devolve into poorly played game of charades, or far worse — talking about our jobs! Luckily, there is an age-old solution for this age-old problem. Gambling. Okay, gambling for a good cause. Follow the simple steps below and your party-goers will be as enthralled from kickoff to the final whistle as an Indy or NOLA local…Who dat? More importantly, they will help great local and global causes in the process. Enjoy the Super Bowl for Good Guide.

Step 1 – Trash Talk and Give Locally

Have your guests declare their allegiance when they walk in the door and keep a tally.

Saints’ supporters: Text SAINTS to 25383 to give $10 to Brad Pitt’s “Make It Right” foundation, which is building 150 sustainable and safe homes in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans.

Colts’ fans: Give to the United Way of Central Indiana’s Live United fund. The fund is supported by the Colts organization and distributes grants locally to organizations like the Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Don’t forget to tweet and and update your Facebook status. Like a romantic relationship, your football fandom is only real once it is archived online. Try, “Brad Pitt’s @MakeItRight_9 builds safe, green homes 4 New Orleans families. Text “I support the #Saints and Brad Pitt’s @MakeItRight_9 foundation. Text “SAINTS” to 25383 to give $10″ or, “Go Colts! I’m a Hoosier for Superbowl Sunday. Show your Indy love by giving to United Way http://bit.ly/coltsuw.”

Your party is off to a good start with your guest declaring their allegiance for the day, but what happens if they game is a blowout? “Boxes” has saved many Super Bowl party from a lackluster 3rd Quarter implosion. Boxes is a game that pays a winner based on the score at the end of each quarter. Your team can be getting destroyed, but a field goal at the end of the first half might just put a few bucks in your pocket. Or, that of a charity in this iteration. With Boxes, everyone has a stake in the game no matter the score.

Step 2 – Boxes for Haiti

Boxes seems tricky, but it is quite simple:

  1. Create a 10×10 grid — total of 100 boxes
  2. Write “Colts” on the top of the Box and “Saints” across the left side (In image: “Colts” where it says “Team A” and “Saints” where it says “Team B”)
  3. Have your guests buy a box. Generally $1-$5 per square with people buying 5 to 10 squares depending how many people are attending.
  4. The purchaser writes the name of a charity working in Haiti (suggestions below) and their initial in the squares they have purchased (Note: It is random, so it doesn’t really matter which squares they choose).
  5. After all the squares are purchased, put scraps of paper with the numbers 0-9 in a hat.
  6. Pull the numbers out of the hat at random and write the corresponding number at the top of the grid. Repeat along the side and your grid should look like the example below (Except your Boxes will say the team names and names of charities instead of people). Your numbers will different from the sample below depending on the random order in which you pull them out of the hat. The randomness is important, because some squares have far greater odds of winning than others, 7 and 3 for example. There is a variation where you number the Boxes first, then charge premiums to buy the most sought after squares.

You’ve got yourself some Boxes! The winner at the end of each quarter is the person who owns the box with the numbers corresponding to the score. If the 1st Quarter ends with the Colts up 7-0, then the person who wrote their initials in the box with 7 across the top (Colts) and 0 on the side (Saints) wins the pot for that quarter. Of course, in this case, the money will be donated to the Haiti the winner chose when buying the box. Typically, the winner of each of the first three quarters takes $20, with $40 going to the person owning the box with the final score. If teams have more than one number (Tens), only the second number is used to determine the winner. For example, Saints 21 and Colts 14 at the end of the first half means that the person with the Saints “1″ and Colts “4″ box wins. Links are provided below for the winner to forward their earnings to the charity of their choice.

TIP: Wait until the 1st Quarter is nearly over to number the boxes. This way latecomers can still get in on the action.

Haiti Boxes Charity Suggestions:

Health and Rehabilitation
Water and Sanitation
Children, Protection and Reunification

Threadless raises 90k and counting for Red Cross with Haiti tee

Many Hands Make the Load Lighter - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
A tee from underground t-shirt website Threadless.com has raised over $90,000 for Haiti relief efforts according to the Threadless weekly video update. The Haiti tee was launched on Jan. 19 with the Creole phrase, “Men anpil chay pa lou” (Translation: “Many Hands Make the Load Lighter”). All proceeds from the $10 per shirt sales benefit the Red Cross.

We reached out to Haiti’s neighbors and asked two of our designers from the Dominican Republic to design this tee, Thomas De Santis and Ivan Tarrazo Sanchez. They’ve declined their printing award and are instead giving it to the Red Cross. Shirts Our Business, one of our printers, has donated their printing time and ink. And everyone here has been rallying to get this tee out to retain focus on the relief effort. We hope you too, will send this along to your friends and fams to show your support!

Thomas and Ivan gave us their thoughts:

Thomas says, “Our inspiration (for the tee was) the amazing Haitian street art. It provides a true sense of daily life and community through the use of gorgeous colors.”

Ivan adds, “We hope that with the money raised with the tee we raise awareness as to the importance, not only of immediate assistance, but of the creation of the infrastructure needed to respond in similar crises.”
via Threadless news

Threadless has lifted their donation cap due to the success of the shirt and will now print 15,000 total.

I’ve been a big fan of Threadless since discovering their “Lil Soap” bestselling tee. Beyond the witty designs, Threadless grew quickly thanks to their strong online community including promoting a culture of customers sharing photos of themselves in their tees, and inviting design submissions.

Lil' Soap - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

I have not worked with the company directly, but I have heard that they are open to partnerships and contests for non-profit organizations. While official partnerships are nice, the success of the Haiti tee is a good reminder that the web can turn anyone into a fundraiser for your cause by offering more ways for supporters to use their talents. In this case, the Red Cross will sit back and gratefully receive a check. Thank you, Threadless community!

Get your Haiti tee while supplies last.

Coco McCabe: Haiti’s entrepreneurs keep life going, part 2

Oxfam America’s Coco McCabe is one of several Boston-based colleagues in Haiti to help with the relief effort. Here’s her latest update, dated January 27; this is part two of a two-part series.

Read part 1.

In December, about a month before the tragedy changed everybody’s lives, Janicia Dorval got a bank loan of 15,000 gourdes (about $370) to help her fund a used-clothing business. It was in full swing at the Petionville Club on Wednesday, with customers–mostly women–crowding around the shoes and purses heaped on plastic tarps next to the dusty road. There were the red patent leather slip-ons, shimmering in the sun, and green flip flops, and practical black loafers.

Dorval, leaning toward the practical in flat canvas shoes and a simple hat to keep the sun off her head, was driving a hard bargain with her customers. She wouldn’t budge on the price of a black bag with a zipper–35 gourdes (87 cents). But toss in a pair of sandals, and she’d let the whole catch go for 400 gourdes (about $10). Behind her stood her shelter, decked out in a tiered lace curtain, yellow with dust.

Asked what she needed to help her business grow, the answer came as no surprise.

Money, she said.

But for Pharisien Marcaise, a 45-year-old tailor, who had sent all four of his children to Catholic school, there’s something even more important for Haitians to have if they are going to move their country forward following this disaster.

“Education,” he said. “If the country doesn’t have education, it’s a dead country.”

Marcaise spoke with an unshakable conviction, even as the price he has now had to pay for it is higher than any parent should ever have to shoulder: When the quake struck, his son, who was studying to be a lawyer at Rubens Leconte University and was the first of Marcaise’s children to achieve that academic level, was killed when the building around him collapsed.

“There are people who have lost five children,” he said quietly above the hum of the camp around him. “I have to keep going with my life.”

For now, that means keeping a small generator chugging so he can charge the batteries on the cell phones everyone here carries. Without a regular source of electricity, people depend on small vendors like Marcaise to keep them connected with their friends, their families, and the world.

Invest in Haiti’s recovery by donating to Oxfam’s Haiti Earthquake Response Fund
Learn more about how Oxfam is responding.

The Technology Behind Texting For Aid

People have texted millions of dollars in donations to victims cialis cheap of the earthquake in Haiti. Is this the new model for philanthropy? Timothy Ogden, editor in chief of Philanthropy Action, explains the technology and the future o

f charity work in the information age.

Checkout the interview here.viagra pricecheap generic cialis

Social Media Revolutionises Disaster Response for Haiti

By Kate Ausburn

On Tuesday January 12th, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake devastated the Caribbean nation of Haiti. The earthquake has destroyed the nations capital of Port-au-Prince including the Parliament building, the United Nations national headquarters, the hospital, the prison and many homes and businesses. Tens of thousands are dead and millions displaced in an event that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has described as the worst humanitarian crisis in decades.

Photo by IFRC.

The United Nations, who lost 46 staff members in the earthquake and have hundreds more still missing, are coordinating emergency relief efforts in Haiti. Due to proximity, the United States have been able to offer immediate assistance on the ground in Haiti, having taken charge of the Port-au-Prince airport where a large proportion of foreign aid is currently being received.

Representatives from many non-government organisations are also in the country assisting with distribution of water and food to displaced Haitians and with hospitals overwhelmed, Medecins Sans Frontieres are assisting with medical care in makeshift hospitals run out of tents.

Role of Social Media
The use of social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake has meant that an increasing level of coverage has reached more people in less time than that achieved through traditional media outlets. Social media has proved its value as a tool that can not only be used to communicate information but also to increase awareness and instigate a global call to action.

Photo by treslola.

Less than a week after the catastrophic event, donations of $US22mn had been pledged through the Red Cross text message campaign. Text message campaigns enable individuals to easily and impulsively donate while Twitter allows for promotion of the campaign to spread and reach a large global audience. Spokesperson for the American Red Cross, Gloria Huang, has said “…twitter has played an extremely significant part”.

Social media platforms such as a Twitter have been able to bridge the geographical and even causal distance that individuals may once have felt from such disasters. The response to the social media promoted campaigns for relief for Haiti have proven that solidarity with those in the midst of tragedy can be achieved, all that is needed is a simple method by which to become aware of unfolding devastation and similarly simple way to act on that awareness.

Photo by IFRC.

What You Can Do
There is much to be done in the rebuilding of the nations capital and supporting its displaced population in the interim. Out of this crisis comes the opportunity to not only restore but improve infrastructure in Haiti. A conference, to be held in Montreal on January 25, has been called to discuss the long-term plan for rebuilding Haiti.

While millions of dollars have been donated, continuing support will be needed over the upcoming months and years. You can assist by pledging a donation to any of the following campaigns:

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