Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Donating by Text

The New York Times is running an article entitled "A Deluge of Donations via Text Messages." Of course, this article refers to Haiti. The article states, "The Red Cross is the biggest relief organization with a system in place to receive such donations, which are sent by cellphone to 90999 and billed at $10 each to the cellphone account. The total raised, a small portion of which will be shared with other members of the Red Cross federation, puts the organization well ahead of other relief groups in fund-raising for operations in Haiti." Red Cross spokesperson Roger Lowe said, "I need a better word than 'unprecedented' or 'amazing' to describe what's happened with the text-message program."

Questions to Consider:

1. Why do you think that so many people have responded to the crisis in Haiti by donating through text message?

2. The article explains that the Red Cross has had management problems in the past. Do you think that this organization should be trusted with contributions for Haiti during this crisis? Why or why not?

3. Ten years ago nobody had ever sent a text message. What do you think that people will be able to do with a cell phone in ten years that they cannot do today?

4. Challenge yourself to do something to help the people of Haiti. Perhaps you can donate money? Perhaps you can run a campaign to encourage others to donate, as well.

Questions for Younger Children and Everybody Else:

1. What kinds of things do people need to buy to stay alive?

2. If you had no money to buy food and were very hungry what do you think that you would do to get food? Is there anything that you could do? Explain!

3. Do you think that people who have food should share with people who don't have food, even if that means that both will be a little hungry? Why or why not?

4. What kinds of things do you think that people will be able to do with cell phones in 100 years that they cannot do with them today?

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