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Friday, 31 December 2004

Gmail invites for helping disaster relief

I’ve been puttering around this week and wondering how I could possibly help the huge disaster left by the tsunamis in southeastern Asia. I came down with a cold a few days ago…and I was thinking, I have more than enough to combat the silly cold: water, food in the fridge, warm clothes, plenty of tissue, a place to sleep, and medicine if I need it. There are hundreds of thousands of people, adults and children, who have lost their entire families and homes, and are struggling to survive. No one could have prepared for this kind of catastrophe.

I’d like to do something, though, however small. So I will send you a Gmail invite if you donate to a charity supporting the disaster relief and then e-mail proof of the donation to me. I currently have 10 invitations to offer.

How to get an invite:

  1. Send in an online donation to a charity. Any amount qualifies, but donate as much as you can. Every bit helps.
  2. Post a comment here (don’t forget to include your first and last names — I need them to send the invitation — and use an e-mail address that you actually check). If you don’t want to leave a comment, you can send me a message with your info via this form.
  3. I’ll reply via e-mail, and you then forward the donation receipt. (Don’t worry, you can delete any personal info such as your address and phone number before forwarding it.) Then I’ll send you the invite.

That’s it. Simple. Each person who donates receives one invite.

I’ve donated to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), one of my favorite charities. (Here’s the direct donate page, so you can find the national office in your country, or the country closest to you.)

Of course, it’s perfectly okay if you’d rather donate to another charity. Google has a list, and there’s also the American Red Cross, which I mentioned earlier. But please make sure you read up about the charity and check it out — at the very least, look up any organizations on www.charitywatch.com (American Institute of Philantrophy, a charity watchdog). Especially take a look at the links labeled "top salaries" and "top-rated groups."

I know I’m not the only one to do this — a quick Google turns up the same concept on Criticise.Me.uk yesterday (and, as noted in the comments, the blogger there got the idea from ChasingDaisy). That’s A Good Thing, because it means the idea is spreading when it counts. I’ve had these invites for a while now and wasn’t sure what to do with them (even Gmail4troops isn’t accepting them anymore). If you have extra invites sitting around, why not give them away for a good cause?

(This offer is open until I run out of invitations.)

Posted at 2:39 am | Filed under News commentary

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3 replies


  1. Aha – my first ever trackback!

    Thanks for the mention, but credit for the idea should go to Daisy at http://chasingdaisy.typepad.com from whom I got the GMail account in the first place.


  2. I’m glad that your first trackback was for a good cause. :-)

    Right, then! I’ve updated the entry with a link to Daisy (to whom I see you’ve linked as well, from your blog entry…it all makes sense now!). ;-)


  3. I won’t take you up on your kind offer (am trying to shift some myself!) – but wish you all the very best of luck!