On January 15, Verizon Wireless transmitted $2,987,560 to the American Red Cross, representing dollars pledged by texting customers to the Red Cross relief effort for Haiti. This represents donations made by Verizon Wireless customers for the first two days of the campaign from 12:01 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Jan. 13 through 2 p.m. EST on Friday, Jan. 15.
As the outpouring of support continues from wireless users texting HAITI to 90999, the company said it would continue to advance funds pledged by Verizon Wireless customers and provide dollars to the Red Cross outside normal operation procedures.
Verizon Wireless president and CEO Lowell McAdam said, "President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have challenged the American people to donate to the Red Cross relief effort, and companies like Verizon need to step up to the plate. Time is of the essence, and it makes sense for us to toss aside our normal financial processes to get money where it can do the most good, in the fastest way possible."
In less than three days since the earthquake devastated Haiti, more than 300,000 Verizon Wireless customers have texted HAITI to 90999, nearing $3 million in donations to the Red Cross relief effort. From the start of the campaign, as of 2 p.m. EST on Friday, the customers of all U.S. wireless companies had pledged more than $9 million to this one relief fund.
Hundreds of American charities have registered text messaging short-codes, whereby consumers can text donations. The mobile giving process can take between 60 and 90 days from the time a wireless user texts a donation and when a charity receives the donation. Verizon Wireless' action today bypasses the normal process used to get donations paid to charities, which helps to ensure that the payments are complete and accurate. Donations will get to the Red Cross quickly, given the humanitarian crisis at hand. To ensure fiscal accountability and responsibility, these operational processes will remain in place for all mobile giving efforts, with the exception of the Red Cross' HAITI on 90999 effort.
The company noted the work of valued and trusted partners in implementing mobile giving, all of which agreed to bend rules and bypass regular procedures to move the money to the Red Cross quickly: Mobile Messenger, mGive Foundation and Mobile Accord. CEO McAdam singled out The Mobile Giving Foundation and its founder Jim Manis for support of the effort. "Jim Manis is a visionary who has fought to unharness the incredible power of mobile technology with our better instincts. Though many deserve credit for the success of this effort to help in the Haiti relief, it all started with Jim's vision."