Text2Help Reactivated for Southern California Fire Victims

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Oct 24, 2007

At the annual CTIA convention, CTIA CEO Largent announced that the industry association is reactivating Text2Help in response to the fires in Southern California in the United States. According to the CTIA, "The national Text 2HELP™ initiative is a partnership between The Wireless Foundation and the American Red Cross that enables customers of participating wireless carriers to send a text message donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to assist relief efforts during a major disaster. The donation will help provide food, shelter, counseling, and other assistance to the victims of the disaster."

Customers of participating wireless carriers textmessage the keyword “GIVE” to "2HELP" (24357). A $5 tax-deductible donation will be made to the American Red Cross for disaster relief efforts. Wireless providers taking part in the initiative send 100 percent of the pre-determined donation of $5 to the American Red Cross. Donations will appear on customers' monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance. Unfortunately, the carriers still collect normal text messaging rates for the messages is takes to make this donation.

According to the CTIA website, participating wireless carriers include: Alltel, AT&T Mobility, Boost Mobile, Dobson Communications Corporation, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. VeriSign is powering the messaging infrastructure.

The prgram has previously been criticized by a consumer rights group for the cost of the relatively small transaction to customers.

Hat tip to Dale Larson for reporting from the convention. 


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