Outpouring of Support for Haiti Earthquake Victims from the Valley

FRESNO, Calif.

Nationally, the American Red Cross has received nearly $35-million in donations since the earthquake. More than half of the donations have been through online contributions including text messages. Locally, people have been walking into the Fresno branch of Red Cross and donating money.

Savemart also joined the effort to get your cash to thousands who need the help. Images of devastation and disaster-these are the scenes that impacted shopper Mary Forston. She donated $10 here at Savemart after reading a yellow sign-asking for help. Forson said, "Why not? Hey I'm fortunate that I can and why not help someone else."

Her money is going to the American Red Cross to supplement the organization's rescue and recovery efforts in Haiti.

Fresno Red Cross CEO Ellen Knapp said with cash donations they send aide quicker to Haiti. People are responding by just walking into their Fresno office and making donations. Also, text messaging has become a new way to raise money. Knapp said, "Everything is internet. Everything is phone. And that is how they donate and that is how they communicate as being part of the world so it is a very natural process for American Red Cross to step forward."

Savemart started their fundraising effort Thursday. It's been slow to take off, but store manager Rick Rapada hopes donations will sore. Rapada said, "Probably the biggest one I've seen is one person decided they would like to do a $50 donation."

Most cell phone carriers are participating in the text campaign. To add ten dollars to your cell phone bill that will be donated to the Red Cross text the word "Haiti" to 90999. You can also call the agency directly by calling 1-800-Red-Cross or 1-800-733-2767.

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