Apptitude: Apps for helping with disaster relief

Aid destined for the Philippines is loaded into a plane at Schoenefeld Airport in Germany.
Aid destined for the Philippines is loaded into a plane at Schoenefeld Airport in Germany. (SEAN GALLUP / Getty Images)
Posted: November 15, 2013

The typhoon disaster in the Philippines may have you wishing to help with a charitable contribution. You can use smartphone applications to check out the helping groups, and in some cases to send your donation.

An International Committee of the Red Cross app, free for Android and Apple, has a news feed with updates on how the Swiss group, which focuses on war-related emergencies, is attempting to respond to humanitarian crises in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and other hot spots in addition to the Philippines. There's no donation function in the app, but it does help with information about the extensive network of Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations around the world.

The UNICEF Experience app for Android and Apple devices allows you to make contributions to the United Nations fund that buys items for aid work around the world. You could pay $1,933.51 for an emergency tent, for example, or $32.35 for a first aid kit. The app uses the PayPal payment system to complete your donation. If you need to set up a PayPal account, you can do so on the PayPal app.

You can also use PayPal to donate to the Philippine Red Cross. See how to do so at the Philippine Red Cross website,

World Vision Now, from the faith-based World Vision relief group, is a free app for Apple devices that has a "Donate Now" button accompanying reports on the devastation in the Philippines. The button links to a Web page where you can tap to choose to donate suggested amounts up to $150, or fill in a blank for any amount.

Hurricane by American Red Cross, free for Android and Apple, has functions for preparing for a hurricane, getting alerts, and tracking storms. But there's also a button for making $10 Red Cross donations via text.

The hurricane app also includes a link to a second app, Team Red Cross, that you would use to sign up as a Red Cross volunteer in your home area. Assignments, according to the app, may include "disaster assessment, feeding, bulk distribution."

215-854-5114 @ReidKan

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