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Support Haiti – Contest – $500 to Winning Idea


Sadly, as you probably already know, this past week Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake. It’s difficult to imagine the extent of damage in this already poor country. I’ve spent the past few days wondering what I can do to help.

Thanks to the web and social media, millions of dollars are being raised. As a teen blogger, I realized that I, too, can play a role and raise money. That’s why I decided to set up a contest to generate ideas that can help Haiti. Here’s where you come in:

How to enter:
1. Leave a comment with your own idea on how to help.
2. Vote on your favorite idea by clicking the thumbs-up button on the comment.

$100 $500 will be donated towards the idea that receives the most votes. For example if the winning idea is for someone to go spend the summer in Haiti helping rebuild, the money will go towards that cause.

Update: I started this contest with $100 to donate towards the winning idea in support of Haiti, and I’ve been amazed at the outpouring of additional contributions. A huge thanks to all the donors, from me, and I’m sure those suffering in Haiti.

Money donated from:
Family ($100)
Ben Lang ($75)
The Fat Boys ($75)
Direct Sales Web Marketing ($50)
Smart Bloggerz ($30)
Dani from BloggerLuv ($25)
Famous Bloggers ($20)
Don Power – Blog With Power($20)
NEWRU ($20)
Myblog2day ($15)
Theme Blogger ($15)
JaypeeOnline ($15)
Alex’s Mind ($10)
Lane Sutton, Kid Critic ($10)
My Life: Engineered ($10)
Teen Business Forum ($10)

Deadline:
All ideas must be submitted by Sunday, January 24.

*If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for donating to the winning idea, please contact me.

  • http://twitter.com/aainsberg Alex Ainsberg

    First off this is an awesome idea. My idea would be to buy a specific resource that the Haitians are specifically in need of, and ship that over there. Right now the Haitians are really only getting the basics, like medical supplies and water. I am not saying this is bad, but what about other essentials? I am sure they wouldn’t mind mass amounts of diapers delivered or something of that sort. This would also prevent the spread of diseases…Though I have no idea how to put this into effect and would need the blogging community to help..

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Thanks Alex, I’m sure that they need a lot right now. Before sending the non essentials I think that rescue efforts should concentrate on saving more people, and rebuilding infrastructure. Once Haiti has infrastructure such as post offices and shipping then donations with non essential items will definitely be very important. Thanks again!

    • http://www.sitesketch101.com Nicholas Cardot

      I agree with this idea and I fully support it. I have a 10 month old daughter and supplies for child care are incredibly important. That could make a huge difference in someone’s life.

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  • http://www.SuccessCircuit.com Shane Hudson

    If I think of anything I shall let you know. It is a great concept and I shall tweet it for you!
    .-= Shane Hudson´s last blog post: How to Write a Comment =-.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Ok thanks so much Shane :)

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  • http://shirleyszone.com Shirley

    I think food and drinking water should be sent to them, because I think that’s one of the basic things they need now and also they’ve been complaining about it on tv that they need food and help in general.

    Hope this helps, Ben.

    My condolences go out to all those that have lost loved ones through this disaster in Haiti and may all those who have lost their lives rest in perfect peace.

    My prayers also go out to all those in Haiti right now, may God be with them, Amen!
    .-= Shirley´s last blog post: Discussion: Why Hasn’t My Teeth Turned White With All These Twitter Teeth Whitening Ads? =-.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      I’m sure that a massive amount of food and water is needed right not. I even just read on CNN that it may take a decade to rebuild Haiti, that really shows the extent of damage that was done.

      Thanks Shirley for offering your condolences and prayers for all those who lost loved ones in Haiti.

  • jose

    THE MOST EFFICIENT WAY TO INCLUDE A WHOLE NATION IN AN EFFORT OF AIDE IS NOT THROUGH MATERIAL GOODS BUT SIMPLY THROUGH COMMUNICATION AND HUMAN CONTACT. WITH AN UNKNOWN NUMBER OF VICTIMS STILL MISSING, MANY OF THOSE WITH FAMILY OR FRIENDS IN HAITI NEED PEACE OF MIND. LET US DONATE TELEPHONE OR MOBILE PHONE MINUTES TO ALL HAITIAN BORN RESIDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES. TO CLAIME THESE GIFTS A RECIPIENT MUST PROVIDE BIRTH CERTIFICATES, PASSPORTS OR ANY OTHER IDENTIFICATION FROM HAITI. LET US CALL THIS PROGRAM “HOLLA BACK HAITI!”

    • jose

      GREETINGS, IT’S ME AGAIN, JOSE. FROM THE OTHER POST UP THERE^ THE REASON I SAY THIS IS BECAUSE WITH MATERIAL GOODS MANY WILL INEVITABLY BE LEFT OUT BECAUSE DESPITE THE AVAILABILITY OF ESSENTIAL RESOURCES WE MAY BE ABLE TO PROVIDE AS AN INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, THERE IS A LIMIT. WE COULD NOT POSSIBLY FEED OR CLOTH A WHOLE NATION. BUT COMFORTING THOSE OUTSIDE OF THIS DISASTER BUT STILL DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY PROVIDING COMMUNICATION TOOLS CAN MAYBE BE BOTH EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE. TOLL FREE HOTLINES, PHONE CARDS AND FREE OR DISCOUNTED MOBILE MINUTES CAN DO WONDERS. GOD BLESS, JOSE

      • jose

        GREETINGS, JOSE HERE ONCE AGAIN TO ADD SOME INSIGHT. IS IT POSSIBLY FOR US TO START SOMETHING SIMILAR TO FOOD OR CLOTHING DRIVES IN OUR LOCAL AREAS? SINCE MANY OF US IN ALL AGES YOUNG AND OLD HAVE DONE DRIVES OF SOME FORM OR ANOTHER, CAN THE SAME SERVICE APPLY TO PHONE CARDS, HOTLINES OR EVEN PREPAID MOBILE PHONES? WHAT IF WE ALL PURCHASED CARDS FROM OUR LOCAL MOBILE PHONE SERVICE RETAIL STORES FOR ANY AMOUNT AND LEAVE IT WITH THESE COMPANIES TO SOMEHOW DISTRIBUTE THEM TO THOSE IN NEED? I MYSELF BEING A DISABLED PERSON HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCE. THOUGH I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO GAIN MEDICAL ASSISTANCE AND ATTENTION THROUGHOUT MY LIFE, WHAT I FOUND MOST IMPORTANT WAS HUMAN CONTACT. IN MOST INSTANCES I JUST NEEDED CONVERSATION TO PUT ME AT EASE. SO THIS IS WHY I HAVE BEEN SO FIRM AND CONSISTENT WITH THE IDEA OF A “PHONE-CARD DRIVE” SO FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF VICTIMS OF ANY OVERSEAS TRAGEDY MIGHT GAIN THE SAME PEACE OF MY GIVEN TO ME DURING MY LONELIEST TIMES. GOD BLESS.

        • http://www.ben-lang.com Ben Lang

          Hi Jose,

          Your ideas are definitely sparking interest. Communication with friends and family is something that we take for granted as we have cellphones, email internet, social media, Skype, and many ways to contact each other. For people in Haiti, especially after this earthquake, the ability to make a simple phone call can make a huge difference in their lives.

          I understand how passionate you are about this idea and many other agree, as we can see by the number of votes you have received so far (so need to use CAPS ;)

          Can you give us some more details on how you could put this idea into action?

          Thanks!

          • jose

            jose here,

            the cliche quote “COMMUNICATION IS KEY” has never been more appropriate before today during these global tragedies.

            greetings, ben, thank you for the reply. sorry about the all caps, i didn’t mean anything by it. to answer your question here is my plan of action for anyone that would like to get started.

            1. purchase phone cards, internet cards or pre-paid mobile phones (boost, metro p.c.s…etc.) at any amount from your local mobile phone retailer. (verison, t-mobile, at&t, sprint, metro p.c.s…etc.)
            2. contact a store manager on setting up a donation program with direct communication access to haiti.
            3. contact any local church or school with related donation programs to haiti.
            4. keep in close contact with that store, school or church to ensure proper use. (if we are able to invest our money in donation, we can surely do the same with these virtual goods that can somewhat be more effective or efficiently used!)

    • Meir

      I like this idea because it made me think. Communication with family and friends in a time of crisis is a basic need but I would not have thought about it. It’s also something that can be done a small infrastructure. Phone cards are small and easy to send and distribute.

    • Car Transporters | Igor

      I agree with Jose, donating minutes will help aid lost or missing people in Haiti.

  • Lee Ka Hoong

    I’ve just watched the news yesterday and honestly that was really sad to see that. This contest holds a very good idea and very meaningful.

    I think is better to buy some daily stuff or drink and ship to over there, but the problem is that how can we donate or ship something over there? Is there any organization built for this purpose?

    I hope everything will be good in some days later.

    Best Regards,
    Lee

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      It is very sad. Here is a great list of organzations and ways to donate to Haiti:

      http://mashable.com/2010/01/13/haiti-earthquake-donate-help/

      By the way I just saw on CNN that it may take up to a decade to rebuild Haiti, it really comes to show how much they need our help now.

      • Lee Ka Hoong

        It’s very sad to see that. Between, Ben I’ve sent you an email regarding the sponsor, I hope it helps.

        Lee

  • Shonika Proctor

    At the Embassy of Haitia in DC they have an overflow of supplies coming in. They received more than they thought and ended up adding on more days to collect things.

    Following is a list of some of the things they need:

    http://www.haiti.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=140

    My idea would be for your community to run local drives to obtain more local supplies that they are requesting. And then reaching out to local packing companies in seek of donations for boxes and tape to send all the supplies.
    .-= Shonika Proctor´s last blog post: Foundation For Youth Social Entrepreneurship Launches DB For Youth in Asia Pacific =-.

    • http://outsourcing-services.net Phil-Am OSI

      Hi Shonika, I agree with your idea. It is great!

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Thanks for sharing all of that valuable information. I think thats a great idea, the more help/fundraising/donations, the more Haiti will benefit.

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  • Aminul Islam Sajib

    I was really sad when I first read the news. I was wondering why God puts trouble on those who are already in trouble (or poor).

    Anyway, I’m afraid I may be writing something totally useless. But my idea would be the followings:

    1. Every blogger should step ahead in helping the people in Haiti. These days, bloggers can make huge impact in the real world. So, if every blog, including those A-listed and having over millions of visitors and subscribers, should put a sidebar widget linking to White House website’s relevant page. That page best describes how to help.

    My site, http://www.aisajib.com could be an example of how to do this.

    2. Twitter users having over millions of followers should send at least one tweet everyday asking the followers to help the sufferers. This would make a lot more people extend their helping hands to Haiti people.

    Right now I can’t find out any more idea on ways to support Haiti people.
    .-= Aminul Islam Sajib´s last blog post: Twitter Tool: Who Was My First Follower? =-.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      I think those are both great ideas, and I’m sure are happening all over now. The more the better though.

      I really think what you did on your blog is great and I’m sure that if you could promote your idea it could do a lot of good.

      Thanks so much for sharing those ideas. :)

  • http://www.directsaleswebmarketing.com/about Dennis Edell

    Ben, I didn’t fully get this at first, raise mine to $50 please. ;)
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog post: Blog Move Is Immanent! I’m Looking For Launch Partners… =-.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Thanks so much Dennis, what you’re doing is great. I hope we could really make a difference for Haiti ;)

  • Shonika Proctor

    Ben,

    Could you get musicians from local middle and high schools and community to do a benefit concert at one of your performing arts schools?

    It would raise awareness not only for Haiti but to the valuable contributions of socially inspired/philanthropic TEENS in technology, social media and arts/music.
    .-= Shonika Proctor´s last blog post: Foundation For Youth Social Entrepreneurship Launches DB For Youth in Asia Pacific =-.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Hi Shonika,

      Well our school decided to collect clothing, food and toys for Haiti. I think though that your idea would be great, I’ll definitely look into it, there might be schools in my area working on similar projects :)

      Thanks!

  • Richard

    Hi

    What happened in Haiti was a terrible incident.

    But this can be sorted out,but there is no short term solutions that will completely sort it out,however,there are things which can be done to make things alot easier for the Haitians ,such as supplying them with fresh drinking water and food.

    Also what needs to be done is eveything that can possibly lead to spread diseases such as cholera should be dealt with ASAP as that is just going to cause a lot more problems.

    Campaigns should be started around the world to raise money that can be donated to a organisation to aid in the recovery of Haiti. One large organisation should also be established.

    As much as possible should be done to help keep the children healthy,after all they are the future.

    Low cost housing should be built for the Haitis to live in while the wait for Haiti to be restored in the long term.

    Richard Cherry

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Hi Richard,

      That’s a very good point you bring up, disease is something that will be a huge problem in Haiti. Creating an organization to send medicine would be a great idea.

      Hopefully low cost housing will be an option in the future, in order to give Haitians a chance to live well. Thanks for your opinions.

  • http://getinternetmarketingstrategies.com/ JR

    Great idea Ben.

    Looks like the Hollywood stars will be doing a telethon and so that should raise a ton of cash.

    I don’t know about specific ideas, but talking about it like we are definitely raises awareness.

    I tweeted, stumbled and social bookmarked this post on various sites.
    .-= JR ´s last blog post: The Ultimate and Best Content Spinner Ever =-.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Thanks! I hope that awareness of the importance of helping Haiti makes a difference ;)

  • Clinton Skakun

    Ben, this is a really great cause. Nothing really comes off the top of my head at the moment. I will keep you in mind.
    .-= Clinton Skakun´s last blog post: Brief Post: Why Should You Monetize Your Blog? =-.

  • http://twitter.com/aainsberg Alex Ainsberg

    Woah! Everytime a I visit the site theres more $$! Sweet :)

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Just trying to help out :) Maybe we’ll reach $1,000 or $10,000 by the times its over.

  • tony ramirez

    Ben, you are doing such an amazing thing for the suffering people in Haiti… i would like to fly over there and lend a helping hand!

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Thanks, hey if you are willing to fly over to Haiti and help, and need $265 (more possible) maybe you’ll have a chance!

  • George Serradinho

    I would of loved to sponsor a prize, but my cash flow is really low and this week started off bad with my blog being down and all.

    I would just like to wish all take part the best of luck and hope that all goes well.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      It’s ok, there’s always another chance to help. Good luck with your blog, and thanks for supporting this contest.

  • http://www.detectorsparadise.com Brion

    There is many doctors and nurses who are unemployed. Send them over to treat the wounded.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Yes there are, it costs a lot of money for that though. Thanks!

  • http://crystaly.wordpress.com Crystal (@crystalcy)

    Awesome! I think a great way would be to organize an online media campaign website (ihavehopeforhaiti.org, maybe?) where student organizations can order fundraising kits (posters, stickers, flyers, fundraising idea packets), find a list of organizations to support, and there are ready-to-tweet messages and calls to action (like http://www.wfp.org/1billion) and videos with pledges from young activists (like http://www.repoweramerica.org/wall/). :)
    .-= Crystal (@crystalcy)´s last blog post: Contribute to What’s Next! =-.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Hi
      That’s a great idea! I’m for sure going to have to back you on this. Maybe you’ll have the chance to use this money to work on that project and really make a difference for Haiti ;)

  • http://www.smartbloggerz.com Typhoon

    That’s a really nice thing Ben. I was looking for some way to support Haiti Relief Cause but it only limited me to support by donating money through Paypal. I didn’t found any donation firm taking donations through that medium and also from my country(india).

    You have brought a really nice idea to do so.

    I have sent you mail regarding my support in this Contest which will provide relief in some way.
    .-= Typhoon´s last blog post: Membership Sites – Great Way For Recurring Online Income =-.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Thanks, I’m very glad that you have decided to become a sponsor for this contest. I hope that we can all help Haiti at this time when they truly need it.

    • Lee Ka Hoong

      Great to see you here Sushant and sponsor some cash to help Haiti. After I’ve sponsored for this contest to help Haiti, my colleague came out and collected donation to help Haiti as well, so I’ve made 2nd donation for them.

      I hope we really can help them, at least we’ve given out something.

      Regards,
      Lee

  • http://www.directsaleswebmarketing.com/about Dennis Edell

    The post I promised is up and running. Hopefully some of my 300 or so subscribers and visitors will take part…

    http://www.easycashcontests.com/a-super-simple-different-kind-of-cash-contest-for-haitian-relief/
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog post: Blog Move Is Imminent ! I’m Looking For Launch Partners… =-.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Thanks so much Dennis, I appreciate it.

  • http://www.mylifeengineered.com David

    Ben – I sent you a note about donating a bit to this idea.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Thanks again, I added you to the list of donating blogs.

  • http://talkahead.com Susie

    My idea is that there needs to be an infrastructure fund, much like there is an International Red Cross fund that people donate to whenever there is a human emergency. the infrastructure fund would go towards rebuilding the infrastructure of nations long after the crisis exists the front page news.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Hi Susie,
      I think that’s a great idea. It should be dedicated entirely to rebuilding the infrastructure of devastated countries. Thanks.

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  • http://twitter.com/aainsberg Alex Ainsberg

    I think theres enough ideas out there and we should put this money to good use! If you have not voted go for it! I am amazed at how many people commented and pitched in :)
    .-= Alex Ainsberg´s last blog post: tools2help: http://ow.ly/XTNx – [iPhone app] – Keep track of good behavior and awards. Create custom awards and give gold stars :) =-.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Hey Alex,
      The more ideas the better, and the more of a chance to help! This Sunday is when we’ll decide and see what idea to put into action :)

  • Marty Friedman

    First of all, great idea Ben!

    How about this – try to get as many bloggers and tweeters as possible to send out an urgent appeal/request for all subscribers to send a mere $1 each to some collection point – a lockbox, po box, other – or better yet set up a PayPal account to receive the funds. Get PayPal to waive their fees for being the intermediary, and then maybe anyone who contributes can go to some website to vote for which agency (or agencies) to send the money to. If you can get enough bloggers to publish it, the appeal could take off and you can raise far more than $365, or $1,000…

    Seems to me that what Haitians need is ‘all of the above’ (access to lost family members, food, water, disease prevention, housing, etc.) but more critically is that they need it ‘right now’. So there is not a lot of time to evaluate the best approach as much as there is an urgent and pressing need to get ‘all of the above’ into Haiti ASAP.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Thanks Marty,

      I think that could be a great idea, however hard to implement. $1 from each blog reader, Twitterer etc would definitely add up but you can’t count on everyone doing it. There are many people on the internet who are making attempts to raise money quickly. Hopefully, people will continue to help.

  • Marianne

    First of all, I wish to commend Ben Lang on his entrepreneurship.
    Shelter is definitely a problem for the Haitians thus my idea: Contact all the cruise ship companies to have them then contact their passengers with reservations in the near future asking them to donate half their ticket price and postpone their trip. The shipping lines would make their ships available temporarily to the homeless Haitians, the passengers would take their trips in the future with the shipping lines paying for the other half of the original tickets. Everyone would do their part and feel good about what they are doing!

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Hi Marianne,
      If only we could get people to do such generous acts of kindness. I feel that for now we should focus on more urgent ideas such as bringing medicine, phone cards, food, water, doctors etc. Thanks!

  • http://www.newru.biz Jenny

    This is a great thing Ben, I sent you a request to be a sponsor.

    I think a great idea would be to team up with a fellow blogger Holly Mann who has offered her ebook free with donation to Doctors Without Borders, you can find more about it here

    http://honestholly.com/honest-riches-free-download/

    Holly has already raised 1400 and is shooting for 10,000
    .-= Jenny´s last blog post: How to Tell If Your Blog Is DoFollow =-.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Thanks! Just added you as a contributor. I contacted her and hope to hear from Holly soon. Thanks again for helping out so much ;)

      • Holly

        Hi Ben! I found this post here through checking my website stats. I had NO idea you contacted me!!! I am not sure what e-mail you used – but I am sorry I missed it. It has been a long time since I’ve seen you online and looks like you’re doing really well.I think your efforts in raising money for Haiti were wonderful – I am still raising money but things are much slower now. I hope it all helps. Take care!
        .-= Holly´s last blog post: Tax Filing Tips & Deductions for Internet Marketers =-.