Internet users rally charitable contributions for Haiti earthquake victims - Metro US

Internet users rally charitable contributions for Haiti earthquake victims

TORONTO – As the world turns its attention to the crisis in Haiti, Internet users are trying to rally charitable contributions for relief efforts.

Several of the most popular topics on Twitter are variations on the earthquake in Haiti and include pleas to donate money.

Messages from high-profile users such as Wyclef Jean, Perez Hilton and the official White House account are being re-tweeted widely, urging others to text message a special number to make a donation.

At times the site was having problems loading with the influx of traffic.

But aid groups are pleading with users to only give their money to reputable, trusted non-profit organizations and beware of scams.

Red Cross Canada also said that Canadians wouldn’t be able to make donations through the text message campaigns circulating on Twitter, which work only on U.S.-based cellphones.

But the Red Cross Canada website is accepting donations, as are the sites of other NGOs like CARE Canada and Oxfam Canada.

“Give to organizations you’ve heard of. Beware of scams right now. Stay on the beaten path. But for God’s sake, GIVE!,” reads a tweet from the account of Fireside International, a non-profit that works to connect the poor with technology.

One of its initiatives is Hands Across Haiti, a social networking site for humanitarian workers stationed in the country to communicate with each other.

The site was being flooded Wednesday with pleas for information about workers in Haiti, posted by friends and family abroad.

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