As fires blaze across southern California forcing hundreds of thousands to flee, the Wireless foundation and American Red Cross announced that most American wireless subscribers can make a charitable donation to the Red Cross Disaster relief Fund through a program called Text 2Help. Subscribers of participating wireless carriers can donate $5 to relief efforts simply by text messaging keyword “GIVE” to “2HELP” (24357). The donations will appear on customers’ monthly bills or be debited from prepaid account balances.
Text 2HELP was first used to raise funds for Hurricane Katrina relief. The program is initiated whenever a natural disaster occurs and an American Red Cross assessment determines its relief effort will require a substantial level of support. Text 2HELP will be activated for 60 days so if you are planning to donate there is plenty of time. The Red Cross provides those in need with shelter, food, water, clean up and comfort kits, and medical and mental health services.
“The wildfires in southern California have caused tragic loss of life, serious injuries, and enormous damage, and now Americans wanting to lend a hand to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund can do that through Text 2HELP™,” said Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association and President of The Wireless Foundation, the charitable organization coordinating Text 2HELP™. “Through a simple text message, Americans can send a donation to the American Red Cross that will be put to good use in providing those in need with invaluable support during their time of crisis.”
Wireless carriers participating in Text 2HELP™ include AT&T Mobility, Alltel, Boost Mobile, Dobson Communications Corporation, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. VeriSign is powering the intelligent messaging infrastructure to enable the short message service.