As all of you know, a devastating series of earthquakes rocked the Haiti region on January 12th, 2010, crippling the infrastructure, killing thousands and leaving even more people utterly homeless. While relief efforts are currently underway, the recovery and assistance effort is an on-going uphill battle with little or no relief in sight. Countries from around the world have rushed people, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid, but as aftershocks continue (today there was a 6.1 registered aftershock, for example), the fragile and brittle stability is being further shattered.
The bottom line, the Haitian people need assistance of ANY TYPE immediately and in an on-going basis, whether it be in the form of time, money or other types of support. Doing absolutely nothing is the worst thing that you can do. Even if you cannot afford to donate time or money, there are other activities that you can do to assist in the relief efforts (one example is listed later in this post).
The outpouring of relief efforts thus far is impressive, however, as a worldly community living under the same “roof”, we all need to put aside our differences and work together to help the Haitians in their time of need.
Hosting for Haiti Initiative
Officially launching today is an initiative comprised of a group of Hosting Providers who normally compete head-to-head. The initiative brings together several hosting providers including Rackspace, Peer1, GoGrid, The Planet and ServInt, in an effort to create a consolidated and organized front to provide monetary assistance to the Haitian Relief Efforts. HostingForHaiti.com is a site designed to provide support from the hosting industry, because through a unified effort, more gains can be realized.
The site is simply a place where you can donate money to the American Red Cross. Even if you don’t donate through HostingForHaiti.com, we encourage you to donate elsewhere. However, our goal is to spread the word that donations are needed. We ask that you raise awareness of this site and encourage your own hosting provider to become a participant as well. Today, a variety of prominent bloggers will be talking about our effort to provide assistance and we ask that you join in this process of social awareness.
100% of the funds donated through the HostingForHaiti.com site will go immediately to the Red Cross relief efforts.
What YOU can do NOW
Please take a few minutes to not only contribute but also help to spread awareness via Social Networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Click HERE to tweet out the following message:
“Hosters are working together to support Haiti Relief Efforts! Please donate & RT! Info: http://hostingforhaiti.com #HostingForHaiti“.
Or create your own message to share!
GoGrid will be donating via the Hosting For Haiti site and encourage you to do the same!
For Hosting Providers: If you’re one of our industry partners and want to join us, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org about joining the cause.
Other Ways to Help – Identify Photos
Last week, GoGrid contributed Cloud Infrastructure to an organization looking to provide assistance in a different way. Conceived and created by The Extraordinaries, the contributions you make are not only helpful, they only require your time in helping to tag and identify pictures coming from Haiti.
Visit http://Haiti.beextra.org to get started.
Using the power of “crowdsourcing” and API integration, you are presented with a picture (pulled from Flickr using their API) and you are asked the following questions (which change based on your answers):
- Is this photo directly related to the Haiti Quake (Yes/No)
- No – removes the picture from the identification list
- Yes – Asks if there are people in the photo
- No – Enter in comments or tags related to the photo
- Yes – Asks a series of questions (see below)
- If the photo is related to the Haiti Quake AND there are people in the photo, you are asked the following questions:
- Can you Clearly See a Person’s Face (Yes/No)
- Gender(s) – (Female/Male/Mixed)
- Age – (Young/Teen/Adult/Elderly/Mixed)
- Alive – (Yes/No/Mixed)
- Anything Else? – enter in description or tags
You also have the ability to view other tags or descriptions of the photo. Once you have filled out the answers based on your best judgment, you can move on to the next photo to tag.
An example is shown below:
By tagging the photos, you are assisting in matching these images against the various missing persons’ databases.
As of this writing, the site has the following encouraging statistics:
You can see some coverage of The Extraordinaries’ efforts on NBC in the video below:
View more news videos at: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/video.
If you are looking for someone or have information to provide, you can visit the Google Crisis Response page for more information.
Just Be Sure To Help
I guess the bottom line here is that there are a variety of ways to help in the relief efforts. I have outlined a couple above in hopes to get the GoGrid community engaged in assistance efforts. As an individual, you can do a lot, and as a group or organization, you can do even more!
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