Blogging for Haiti

Written by Tabby Biddle

Photo Credit: Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross

The 7.0 earthquake in Haiti was the biggest earthquake to hit the island nation in more than 200 years. The American Red Cross has reported that an estimated 3.5 million people have been affected by the recent earthquake. According to relief experts, not only are medical supplies, water and food desperately needed, millions of dollars in cash are essential to help Haiti recover.

Over the past week, American corporations, NGOs, foundations, and individual citizens have rallied together raising money for the people of Haiti. One of the most successful donation efforts has been the one set up through Mobile Accord and mGiveFoundation in coordination with the US State Department. The fundraising effort enables individuals to send a $10 donation directly to the American Red Cross (the organization leading the efforts on the ground in Haiti).

Here’s how: Text the word “Haiti” to 90999, and $10 will be added to your cell phone bill. This works with the major carriers, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

There are also other ways to contribute. You can blog for Haiti.

I just learned about a website called YouSayToo where you can create revenue to be donated to the relief efforts in Haiti by adding your blog to their site. YouSayToo’s mission is to bring causes and bloggers together.

While YouSayToo supports a variety of causes such as fighting global hunger, protecting our oceans, and providing clean water around the world, right now the organization is focusing all of their revenue on the relief efforts in Haiti.

How does this work?

Firstly, for every blog someone adds to the site, YouSayToo will donate $1 for relief efforts to Hope for Haiti, an organization that has been in Haiti for 20 years. Secondly, YouSayToo uses something called Google AdSense. Google AdSense associates content sensitive ads with your blog that appear at the end of your blog (or sometimes in the middle). Every time someone clicks on one of these ads, it generates a small payment to you.

Normally you’d have to set up an account on your own, deal with HTML code, and figure out how to insert the code into your blog or website. If you add your blog to YouSayToo, they do it all for you.

The great thing is that you can add your existing blogs from sites such as WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, and Typepad directly onto YouSayToo. After you add your blogs, all of your new entries will be automatically imported into your YouSayToo blog. This allows you to make revenue from your existing blogs via Google AdSense ads and also increases your readership.

Once the ads in your blog generate revenue, you pick where you want the money to go. If you want all the money for yourself or to donate it to one of the causes on their site, YouSayToo will split the revenue with you 50/50. But if you want the money to go toward the relief efforts in Haiti, 100 percent of the AdSense revenue will be donated directly to Hope for Haiti.

How much are we talking about?

It depends on the blog and the content. An average blogger makes about $15-$25 a month from one blog. It might not sound like much, but put thousands of such bloggers together and it comes down to thousands of dollars of donations per month.

I love this idea of drawing in thousands of bloggers who, by the simple act of adding their blog, can generate money to donate to help the people of Haiti. Furthermore, if you add a blog to YouSayToo’s “Dream Gift Contest” by January 31, you will have the opportunity to win $1000, which you can donate directly to Hope for Haiti if you choose.

The recovery effort in Haiti is huge. We have a lot of work ahead of us. White House officials said that there were 26 international search and rescue teams in Haiti over the weekend. In addition to search and rescue efforts, immediate critical care needs of water, food, shelter and medicine are vital.

If we all step in, whether it’s donating $10 through texting “Haiti” to 90999, sending medical supplies, blankets and food via the many organized relief efforts, or adding our voice through our blog to a site like YouSayToo, we can truly make a difference in the lives of our sisters and brothers in Haiti.

The money that we donate right now is saving lives in Haiti.  By simply writing a blog you can help.

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Tabby Biddle, M.S. Ed. is a writer and editor specializing in health and wellness, women’s issues, social change, personal growth and empowerment. She lives in Santa Monica, CA with her husband.

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