Text Donations to Haiti: the Good News and the (Slightly) Bad News

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Photo: Red Cross

The good news about that $10 donation you sent by texting "Haiti" to 90999 this week? It's already being used to help, and $10 million has already been raised this way, surely much more because of the convenience of texting. The bad news? Because cell phone carriers are not creditors and have to wait for you to pay your bill to forward the money on, it won't actually reach the Red Cross's coffers for 90 days. The donation is still very meaningful -- the Red Cross will spend money now knowing your donation has been pledged, and as their spokesperson points out "We'll still be here in 90 days," but if you want your money going to relief in Haiti right now, the best way to do it is to donate directly online. UPDATE: One carrier, Verizon, is waiving the 90 days, Sprint is getting 80% of donations out, and others are "looking into" speeding up donations.

How Your Text Message Donation Gets to Haiti [CNN Money]
American Red Cross: Donate Now [Red Cross]