Air Canada/WestJet helping in Haiti...Tiger too..Twitter coverage of Haiti is A-1
Everybody's jumping on the Haiti bandwagon, and I don't mean that to sound snarky.
The latest post I saw from Associated Press was quoting a guy from Tiger Woods' foundation (remember him?) as saying they wanted to help. There was a rumour of a $3 million donation but I don't know if that's true. Apparently Tiger wants to help kids in Haiti.
He's done good things with his foundation. And it's smart of his agents or him to make a gesture like this, especially with his sponsors treating him the way Hedo Turkoglu of the Raptors treats fans with digital cameras.
Air Canada sent out a release today to say it was sending a plane and volunteer crew to Haiti at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, from Montreal to Port-au-Prince. The plane will be able to carry 14,800 pounds of people and material, including some 100 search and rescue technicians from Quebec.
The return flight will carry evacuees.
WestJet, meanwhile, said it's donating $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross and is challenging its employees to do even better. In addition, they'll send a charter from Toronto to Port-au-Prince with "much needed supplies provided by World Vision Canada."
I got a note on my blog earlier today - thanks! - from a marketing agency working with Royal Caribbean. The note said Royal Caribbean, which owns a private island called Labadee off Haiti's north shore, has teamed up with a group called Food for the Poor to help out. Anyone interested in assisting can make a donation at http://foodforthepoor.org/royalcaribbean.
TWITTER ROCKS ON HAITI
I gotta admit I was a tiny bit unsure about Twitter when I heard about it back in the summer of 2008. The Star signed me up to "tweet" from Beijing, where I was coordinating the Star's Olympic Games coverage.
Twitter was definitely in its infancy, as I probably had 60 or 70 followers by the time the Games were over. Heck, there are weekends (well, not quite but you get the point) now where I can pick up 60 or 70 followers. It's an amazing service. For those of you who don't get it, check it out at www.twitter.com and at least give it a couple days.
Yes, there are idiots telling me they don't like onion bagels and others who muse about television shows. But if you go to twitter and type in #haiti in the search category, you'll get thousands upon thousands of "tweets" from folks around the world talking about the situation. There are miniature novels being played out all over Twitter today, and it's absolutely fascinating.
Here's a small sample of what I picked up in just a few seconds this morning:
- @yywhy wondered: "They keep talking about blocked roads. Are all our helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan?"
- @sophie_choudry had this to offer: "Wanna help Hait? Text YELE to 505501."
- @francosarmy, on the other hand, posted this: " #HAITI SITUATION IS JUST GOING TO GET WORSE. MORE ARE DYING EVERY MINUTE. 44 EARTHQUAKES HIT HAITI SO FAR THE LAST ONE AT 3:56 AM FRIDAY 4.7So, in the space of a just a few seconds,."
- @CRSnews posted this: "Some market activitity on outskirts of Port-Au-Prince. Merchants selling lemonade and shaved ice."
- This also was quite useful: "Do you have family and/or friends in Haiti? @abc7 wants to talk to you. Please tweet back or call us at 818-803-7600."
Another respondent had this to say: "AMERICAN AIRLINES ARE NOT TAKING DOCTORS/NURSES FOR FREE"
And finally, a sobering thought, as if there aren't enough: @klustout: First 72 hours *critical* for saving people trapped in the rubble. More than 63 hrs have passed. Precious lives are at stake. #haiti
Powerful, powerful stuff. More to come if I get a chance.