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As information and statistics keep flowing regarding the recent earthquake in Nepal, many of us are wondering what we can do to help. The good news is, you can make a difference simply by using technology that you probably already do every day! Technology has created many unique ways to help out in disaster relief – from monetary donations to donated phone/text usage and advanced drone technology. Here are some of the technology companies that are extending help to those who are in desperate need (listed alphabetically), as well as ways you can get involved.
Apple has made it incredibly easy for users to donate to the American Red Cross. With just one click in the iTunes Store, you can donate money from the credit card you have on file with Apple. http://www.apple.com/
AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile
These telecom companies have waived fees associated with phone calls and text messages sent by all users in Nepal. The dates covered by this are April 25-May 16th. AT&T: http://about.att.com/newsroom/nepalreliefefforts.html, Sprint: http://newsroom.sprint.com/news-releases/sprint-waives-customer-fees-for-calls-and-texts-to-nepal.htm, and T-Mobile: http://newsroom.t-mobile.com/news/nepal.htm
This crowdfunding site has a page especially for charities that are raising money for relief efforts in Nepal. https://www.crowdrise.com/Nepal-Earthquake-Relief
Not only has Facebook committed to matching every dollar donated up to $2M to go to the International Medical Corps., but it also has a feature called Safety Check. This allows users in the affected area to inform family and friends that they are safe. Additionally, it can be used to check the status of people you know in the area. Facebook also allows you to donate directly from your news feed. More information on Safety Check: https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2014/10/introducing-safety-check/. To donate: https://www.facebook.com/nepalearthquakesupport
Canadian-based organization GlobalMedic has deployed a fleet of three drones to survey the earthquake-stricken area and collect high-resolution photos to help deploy aid. http://globalmedic.ca/programs/view/earthquake-in-nepal
Google's Person Finder was initially launched in 2010 to help with the Haiti earthquake. Anyone can update information about themselves or missing persons in the event of a disaster. In just the first two days after the earthquake in Nepal, Google's Person Finder was updated an astonishing 5,300 times. Also, Google Voice calls have been reduced from 19 cents a minute to 1 cent a minute for calls going into Nepal. Google will be donating 1M in aid. Visit Google People Finder here: https://google.org/personfinder/global/home.html
Microsoft & Skype
Microsoft has pledged a minimum of 1M to recovery efforts in Nepal. Additionally, they have made Skype calls to and from all landlines and mobile phones in Nepal free of charge. Skype's blog post regarding the disaster: http://blogs.skype.com/2015/04/27/free-calls-to-land-lines-and-mobiles-in-nepal/
PayPal will be waiving its processing fee for charities involved in the Nepal relief effort for the next month. Donate here: https://www.paypal-donations.com/pp-charity/web.us/campaign.jsp?cid=35
The official Twitter India account posts emergency information, maps, and other information to connect people with aid groups and emergency workers. View their Tweets here: https://twitter.com/twitterindia
All calls for Nepal users are free to any destination. http://www.viber.com/
If you would like to donate to help the victims of the earthquake in Nepal, there are many ways to do so. Be sure to contribute to a reputable organization so that your donation goes directly to those in need.
If you know of any other tech companies that are helping out that are not listed here, please feel free to list them in the comments!
Written by Allison Montgomery / April 28, 2015