Rappler launches ‘Text to Help’ campaign

Intended to benefit hundreds of thousands of victims of Typhoon 'Pablo' the campaign combines technology, social media, and a genuine desire to help

Rappler launched on Friday, December 21, its “Text to Help” campaign in partnership with telecommunication companies Smart and Globe. The campaign intends to help raise funds for victims of Typhoon “Pablo.”

Latest reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council say that over a thousand have been killed by the super typhoon which hit mostly the southern island of Mindanao in December 2012. Over 800 are still missing, while damage to crops and public infrastructure has been pegged at over P7 billion.

As of December 18, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said there are over 25,000 people in evacuation centers and close to 960,000 are still waiting to be accommodated in evacuation centers that number only 63 thus far in disaster-stricken Davao Oriental.

Out of the $US65 million in foreign aid needed to be raised, only $12 million or about one-fifth has been raised, according to UNOCHA. Much more is needed to provide adequate food and new homes to families who lost everything.

Given the power of technology, Rappler linked up with Smart to allow donations via text, and with Globe to allow donations via its Gcash system. For Smart, donations in the following denominations are possible – P 10, P15, P25, P50, P100, P300, P500, P1,000. Smart subscribers who wish to help can text their donations which will go to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Rappler and DSWD agreed on a monthly reporting system. DSWD will relay to Rappler how much it has received in donations. These amounts will be reported on Rappler’s “Text to Help” page. We will likewise be reporting on how these donations will be spent, and where funds are being channeled.

Christmas and the holidays this year and next can be different. In these days of technology and social media, making a difference in the lives of Pablo’s victims can be just a text away. – Rappler.com