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Using the Power of the Internet to Help Others

 

 

 


     

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The Internet has an extraordinary capability to empower people to do good things. Here's a look at Internet phenomenon that started with modest beginnings.

Sports columnist Rick Reilly wrote a column in which he challenged  his readers to donate $10 for a net to protect a person in Africa from malaria carrying mosquitoes. The response was so great that it became an ongoing movement. Within a few months, over 1 million dollars had been raised. Nothing But Nets

 

Scott Harrison started Charity Water after finding himself, in 2004, "for the most part living selfishly and arrogantly." He said, "desperately unhappy, I needed to change." Here's his story:

The Idea Camp - Scott Harrison from The Idea Camp on Vimeo.

To make people's donations to Charity Water more tangible, the organization shows each water well project on Google Earth.
 

One.org seeks to achieve change through advocacy. They hold world leaders to account for the commitments they've made to fight extreme poverty. Using the efficiency of the Internet to keep a large membership informed, the group regularly sends out emails to people who've signed up; that number is over 2 million people.

Sites like The Rainforest Site can generate funds for a cause without ever asking you for a penny. You click on a link, you see who the companies that sponsor the program are, and in this way money is generated to help preserve the rainforest. While you are there, you can learn about the issue. Since 2000, more than 153 million visitors have clicked to save more than 40,500 acres of habitat. While at the site, visitors can navigate to related sites, that raise money for causes like reducing hunger, ending breast cancer, promoting child health, increasing childhood literacy, and helping rescue animals.

Aston Kutcher used Twitter to raise awareness about stopping malaria through the use of bed nets. He challenged CNN to see who could reach 1 million followers on Twitter first. He promised to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to Malaria No More  if he won. He did win, and donated $100,000 to the cause.

Happy Slip started out as a series of funny videos about Christine Gambito's Philippine family. The videos were so entertaining and well produced, that now, hundreds of thousands of people watch them. Gambito is now using her Youtube page to raise money for Operation Smile. The money is generated every time someone watches a video. She's already raised thousands of dollars. 

Is there a cause that you believe passionately in? The Internet provides lots of tools to put your passion to good use. If you don't have a clue how to proceed, one way might be to use a social networking site (like Myspace or Facebook) and make the focus of it about your cause. The people that you add as friends are likely to be interested in the same cause as you. You should be able to embed video, from sources like Youtube, that powerfully educate people about your cause. If things really get going in a big way, you can expand from there. You can create a regular website, which is set up to navigate to your social networking site when people type in your domain. All of this can be done at virtually no cost to the user. Sites like CafePress allow you to sell T-shirts, buttons and bumper stickers at no cost to you. You can even mark up these products if you want to make a profit. There is pretty much no limit as to how large a user can make a site like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 





2002 - 2005 David Walls. All rights reserved.