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A Whole New Way of Thinking – and Helping

sallyg January 19, 2010

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Wow.  It is hard for my head and heart to even fathom what is taking place in Haiti.  Last night my husband and I were discussing the horrible situation and what we could do from where we sit.  We personally just didn’t feel we could watch the news, know just a piece of the situation, and not do something.  From where we are, the only thing that we felt we could do is make some sort of donation to help the suffering people.  Okay, so we decided to give, but where?  How do you get the money to an organization that you know you can trust to do the right thing.  There are already news warning of fraudulent organizations abusing the situation.  Where can I give that I can trust?  We brainstormed a few ideas, and I added that to my “to do” for the next few days.

I then go to work this morning with it all still on my mind.  In my Inbox is an email from one of our partners, MobileCause (www.mobilecause.com).  One of their offerings  is a Text to Give service where you can make a donation from your telephone.  They are working together with their outreach of all their Non-Profit organizations to promote a text of Haiti for a mobile gift.  I am truly overwhelmed to see technology in action in a situation like this.  That is amazing when you think of the outreach that can be made from texting and these $10+ donations.

Another email comes in later in the day.  I am on many of our clients mailing lists (thanks for sharing all that you do and how you do it!), and see an outreach to their members.  They have set up a way online for their church members to donate to a Haiti fund.  They will then send these funds through a relief organization that is working on the situation.  They are using their relationship with their members as well as coordinating with a Christian Organization to get the funds in action.  I’m impressed.  I also like the concept personally.  I’m not even a member there, but I personally like the idea of being able to donate that way.  For me personally, I like the idea of being able to combine the giving and help with Christian outreach.  To me, I think that even a small cross on someone’s shirt while they hand out supplies can make an impact.

There truly is power in the internet.  It can allow you to respond fast to a situation.  If someone has ACS Online Giving in place, they could just set up a fund, upload to Access ACS, and within minutes have a link they could publish on their web site, in special emails, on broadcast screens at the church and so forth.  Those funds can then be sent through the mission teams, denominational offices, or other partners.   The church then knows how they can help with this disaster.  It’s a whole new way of thinking.

To update:  Do I not only talk the talk but walk the walk?  Yes!  I did go to that church’s site, easily found the Haiti fund code and could see how to set up a gift.  At this time they are only accepting ACH gifts, and I was hoping to give with a credit card.  So, I wound up going to one of the suggested organizations and making a direct gift.  I loved the experience of going through the live process with them, though.  Ironically, my husband comes home from work to tell me how he was excited about a text to give campaign he had seen, been moved by, and given to.  (I had dinner with “the girls” that night, and we hadn’t gotten synced up about this. 🙂 )  This site has been dubbed “the community”, and I find it ironic.  As I have watched the news stories come in about online and text gifts, it makes me feel there is a new type of community out there as well.

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