Facebook and Google lend a helping hand in Hurricane Harvey

Facebook and Google lend a helping hand in Hurricane Harvey

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The Gaza Post | The News of Palestine – Texas

Some companies like Facebook, Google are helping to raise money for non-profits responding to the havoc that Hurricane Harvey left behind in Texas.

Facebook said Aug 29 it is matching donations – up to US$1mil (RM4.27mil) – raised on the social network for the Centre for Disaster Philanthropy’s Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund.

Users in the United States can donate through a message at the top of their News Feed or through the centre’s Facebook page.

“Over the past few days, thousands of you have asked for help and offered help on Facebook to people who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey using Safety Check and Community Help,” wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a social media post. “Now we want to give everyone another way to make a difference.”

Google is making a US$250,000 donation to the American Red Cross through its charitable arm and said it would match up to US$250,000 in employee donations. It’s also matching the first US$1mil (RM4.27mil) in donations, which will go to the Network for Good and then distributed to the American Red Cross.

Amazon and Whole Foods are matching up to US$1mil (RM4.27mil) in donations made through the e-commerce site to the American Red Cross. Apple is also allowing people to donate through iTunes or the App store.

The Walt Disney Co and the ABC television station its owns, KTRK in Houston, said Tuesday they were donating US$1mil (RM4.27mil) to the American Red Cross.

Meanwhile, cellphone carriers including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-mobile are offering free service for those affected by the hurricane.

Airbnb is providing free housing for those impacted by the hurricane until Sept 25.

Tech firms have been putting the features they created for disaster response to good use. Google launched an “SOS alert” for the hurricane, which features news, a crisis map and other resources for people impacted by the storm.

Facebook activated its Safety Check feature so friends and family in the area could let their loved ones know that they are safe.

And people who have been stranded by the floods have turned to other social media sites, including Twitter and Nextdoor, to reach out for help.

Some users were even posting their addresses on social networks.

More than 17,000 people are seeking refuge in Texas shelters, the American Red Cross said.

Source: San Jose Mercury News/Tribune News Service

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