SMS GIVERS CAN SAVE LIVES

THE Vodacom Foundation yesterday launched the Red Alert SMS disaster fundraising platform.

THE Vodacom Foundation yesterday launched the Red Alert SMS disaster fundraising platform.

The SMS is free and all the money raised will be given to relief organisations.

By smsing "aid" or "give" to 38416 and 38207, respectively, subscribers can donate R10 towards humanitarian disaster areas.

The foundation's chairperson Mthobi Tyamzashe said funds raised would be channelled to the South African Red Cross Society.

He said: "We are very pleased to be able, through existing platforms, to facilitate partnerships between the private sector and members of the public to become a force for good," Tyamzashe said.

Network subscribers can SMS "aid" to 38416 to donate R10 in the event of a local disaster and "give" to 38207 in an international disaster.

Subscribers can also dial *120*243# or *120*4489# from their Vodacom phone to donate displayed amounts, from as little as R5, towards local and international disaster, respectively.

The foundation's executive head of marketing and communications Suzette van der Merwe said: "People can SMS as many times as they want. However, they can only start doing that when there is a disaster.

"Vodacom does not keep even a cent of the money that will be donated," Van der Merwe said.

She appealed to the public to support them to make a difference.

The foundation said the recent Haiti earthquake highlighted the power of fundraising via SMS.

"Funds are raised quickly with 14 Vodafone companies around the world making use of an SMS-platform to raise in excess of R50 million towards the Haiti appeal," the foundation said in a statement.

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