At 4:53pm on Tuesday, Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince was struck by a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake that essentially vaporized the entire city. Casualty estimates are still unknown, but with the earliest guesses ranging anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 dead, it is clear that only international effort is going to be able to cope with the aftermath’s sheer scope of human suffering.
To that end, Apple has figured out a smart way to leverage their existing iTunes infrastructure to easily allow users to donate money to the American Red Cross for Haitian Earthquake Relief. Just decide how much you can afford to give — denominations of $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, and $200 are supported — and click the donate button. The money will automatically be deducted from your credit card and sent on to the Red Cross, with no margin to Apple.
It’s a nice gesture on Apple’s part, but you may want to donate directly to the Red Cross, since Apple warns that since iTunes does not share personal information with external companies. From a purely practical perspective, that means the Red Cross can’t acknowledge the donation… and you can’t deduct it.
However you decided to donate, give what you can. Haiti’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.