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Having Hope for Haiti

I am a big believer that the Internet is a tool that needs to be used more for the good of mankind. Watching the Haiti trauma unfold before my eyes on Twitter and Facebook, listening to the connections between survivors, loved ones and lost ones – it made me think about how the Internet has no borders. Humans all over the world build applications to help others survive disaster. Here are a few great examples that I found:

Connecting Vital Resources to the Haitian Victims
1. As you are reading this blog post, a volunteer organization called Ushahidi is helping survivors connect and communicate with the outside world. Ushahidi is a free open source project comprised of developers from Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Malawi, Netherlands and the USA. Their engine is a platform that allows anyone to gather distributed data via SMS, email or web and visualize it on a map or timeline. Their mission is to create the simplest way of aggregating information from the public for use in crisis response. The site is http://haiti.ushahidi.com/. It shows a crisis map – where people are trapped, where food’s needed, and where they need help from police immediately. In addition, they list out what you can do online to help volunteer.

2. Google created an application that can be embedded in your web site to help missing people reconnect with their family called the Google Person Finder.

3. Google also developed a Crisis Response hotline that is providing free Google Voice Calls to Haiti.

Making it Easy to Donate
1. According to Mobile Marketing Watch the Red Cross has raised $24 million and counting from texting. If you have a cell phone you can donate $10 to the American Red cross by sending a text message with the word “Haiti” to 90999. Also, the Red Cross is providing a map of the % of Overall Text Donations By State.

2. Salesforce.com allows you to donate through their site and will match your donations.

3. Amazon.com has added a box on its home page that customers can click to donate to the Haiti Relief Efforts of Mercy Corps.

4. And even missionaries in Michigan, like Great Commission Air raised $15,000 from an email and Facebook campaign. They are now in Haiti helping transport food and fuel.

So please spread the word about these efforts; helping is contagious!

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About Linda Girard

Linda is the Visionary and CEO of Pure Visibility. Living and breathing in the world of search for over 10 years, she is obsessed with her team, the future of search, and transforming the world. Have a question or a smashing idea...ping her on Google+, <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=40102&trk=tab_pro"LinkedIn, and on Twitter as @lgirard.

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