While the tech world may have been watching the lines outside of Apple stores and gauging response to the launch of the next generation Apple tablet, most of the eyes of the world were on Japan. As I am sure you know, the small island nation was rocked by a record 8.9 magnitude earthquake, followed by a devastating tsunami that has taken thousands of lives.
Many people throughout the United States have friends, family, and co-workers in Japan who are affected by the natural disaster. People are desperate to get information and make sure that those they care for are safe and have what they need to get through the aftermath of the disaster.
International communications can be quite costly, but Verizon is stepping up to waive the costs and help customers stay in touch. A press release from Verizon explains, "All Verizon Wireless post-paid customers will receive free calling to Japan from March 11 through April 10. Post-paid customers are those who receive a monthly bill from the company. In addition, Verizon Wireless post-paid customers in the U.S. will receive free text and multimedia messaging to Japan for the same time period."
In addition to the free calls and text messaging to Japan, Verizon is also helping customers donate to earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. The Verizon press release states, "Customers can easily make a $10 donation by simply sending a text message and may choose from 10 organizations aiding those in need in Japan."
To donate $10 to relief efforts in Japan, Verizon customers can simply text the designated word to the text short code for your organization of choice. The $10 donation will be removed from the existing account balance for pre-paid customers, and tacked on to the next bill for post-paid customers. Here is a list of the relief agencies, along with the designated code word and short code to text your donation:
• ADRA Relief: text SUPPORT to 85944
• American Red Cross Relief: text REDCROSS to 90999
• Convoy of Hope: text TSUNAMI or SUNAMI to 50555
• GlobalGiving: text JAPAN to 50555
• International Medical Corps: text MED to 80888
• Mercy Corps: text MERCY to 25383
• Salvation Army: text JAPAN to 80888
• Save the Children Federation, Inc.: text JAPAN or TSUNAMI to 20222
• World Relief Corp. of National Association of Evangelicals: text WAVE to 50555
• World Vision, Inc.: text 4JAPAN or 4TSUNAMI to 20222