The American Red Cross has raised millions of dollars to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake one text message at a time, as calls for donations sound across social media Web sites.
As of Thursday morning, the Red Cross says it has raised nearly $3 million through a service that allows mobile phone users to send $10 donations by text message.
All that potential donors have to do is send a message with the word "Haiti" to the number "90999", and the money will be added to their phone bill. The service, provided by the company mGive, currently is only available in the United States.
Donors can also text the word "Yele" to the number "501501" to donate through a charity of the same name founded by Haitian-born musician Wyclef Jean.
The words "Yele" and "Help Haiti" were two of the leading topics on the popular messaging site Twitter, as users urged friends and co-workers to donate. Similar calls were echoing across the social Web site Facebook.
Facebook also set up a new page called "Global Relief" that will provide information on aid efforts following major disasters, starting with the Haiti earthquake.
Anguished Haitians desperate for news from their loved ones have put out alerts for the missing by using social network sites. Many Haitians have used the Internet to get out information about the disaster or confirm they were safe.
The International Committee of the Red Cross also has set up a special site to help people locate their family members in Haiti (http://www.icrc.org/familylinks).
Aid organizations also are accepting donations through their Web sites.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.