As New Yorkers took to Twitter to voice concerns, request aid, and offer real-time help, organizations were--more than ever before--there and ready to respond on their native platforms. Here's how the Red Cross, the City of New York, and Occupy Wall Street ratcheted up their Hurricane Sandy relief via the social web.
Years of studying disaster relief has led Jose Holguin-Veras to a few simple truths about donations. While tiger costumes and Viagra aren't going to do much good, it makes people feel better to think they're helping. But they're not--they could be doing a lot of damage.
International Medical Corps is a model for global not-for-profits, with a plan that goes way beyond drop-in disaster relief. In Haiti, IMC is training locals, building communities, and doing everything it can to put itself to pasture.
I almost didn't write this post, because the humanitarian tragedy following the earthquakes in Japan is such a sensitive, complicated situation. And designers like Signalnoise are earnestly trying to help by putting their formidable talents to work -- in this case, by designing and selling a very tasteful poster and donating the proceeds to help relief efforts. The poster was undeniably successful, funnelling $7000 to the Canadian Red Cross, and generating a wave of interest for a second print run -- which I was very tempted to join by purchasing one for myself.
For the one in every eight souls around the world lacking access to pure drinking water, how about this: A solar-powered water purification system that spits out pure water, hydrogen and, just for kicks, electricity too. Could it get any better than that?