Some stats on the SoCal fires...
1,000,000 - Number of people evacuated (now larger than Katrina)
65,000 - Homes still threatened
9,000 - Number of fire fighters on the scenes
6,500 - Red Cross staff and volunteers in the area
1750 - Homes in San Diego alone that won't have families returning to them. (Destroyed)
723 - Number of square miles burned
500 - Destroyed homes in the Lake Arrowhead region
24 - Number of Red Cross shelters open
23 - Fires burning in SoCal
0 - Number of people on my friends list that took 30 seconds to make a post saying "if you want to help, click here..." That's... kind of disappointing.
And now, there's an easier way to give that you can utilize or spread the word about.
From this press release
.The Wireless Foundation and the American Red Cross today announced that most American wireless subscribers can make a charitable donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and assist relief efforts such as those ongoing in southern California, by utilizing the Text 2HELP™ program established by their partnership. Here's how it works: Subscribers of participating wireless carriers can donate $5 to relief efforts simply by text messaging keyword “GIVE” to “2HELP” (24357). The donations will appear on customers' monthly bills or be debited from prepaid account balances.
“The wildfires in southern California have caused tragic loss of life, serious injuries, and enormous damage, and now Americans wanting to lend a hand to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund can do that through Text 2HELP™,” said Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association and President of The Wireless Foundation, the charitable organization coordinating Text 2HELP™. “Through a simple text message, Americans can send a donation to the American Red Cross that will be put to good use in providing those in need with invaluable support during their time of crisis.”
Wireless carriers participating in Text 2HELP™ include AT&T Mobility, Alltel, Boost Mobile, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and SunCom. VeriSign is powering the intelligent messaging infrastructure to enable the short message service.