Flickr: Courtesy of That Hartford Guy

Tech companies pitch in to help in Sandy’s wake

In the wake of Sandy, technology companies are going all out when it comes to relief efforts. From text-message donations to cooperation in providing services to customers, recovery is under way. As the above photo of Hoboken, New Jersey, shows, help can't come soon enough.

A little money goes a long way

Donations via text messages are a popular way to easily give money to charities in need. At least four different groups are using this method to raise money in $10 increments for recovery efforts, which appear as a charge on the texter’s bill.

Those interested in donating to the American Red Cross should text “REDCROSS” to 90999; texting “STORM” to 80888 helps the Salvation Army.

Two animal charities are also asking for help: texting “HUMANE” to 80088 donates $10 to the American Humane Society, while texting “PREVENT” assists the ASPCA.

Apple iTunes shows a link to donate to the Red Cross for Superstorm Sandy relief.

Apple Thursday added a link on the iTunes home pageasking for donations to the Red Cross. This is not the first Apple has done something similar: iTunes promoted the Red Cross in the wake of the Japan earthquake and tsunami last year.

Even one tech executive is using his own fortune to help out. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark announced through funding site Crowdrise that he personally is matching $25,000 in relief donations, allowing givers to choose among one or more of about two dozen relief groups.

Easing communication gridlock

Companies themselves are donating services to make it easier to stay connected, which in some places has become practically impossible. As reported Wednesday, Comcast offers free Wi-Fi access through November 7 in eight states and Washington, D.C.

Craigslist's Craig Newmark will match your donation to a charity on his list of about 24 groups.

And AT&T and T-Mobile combined their respective networks in the hardest-hit areas of New York and New Jersey. Customers of either carrier will now be able to connect to the tower that provides them with the best signal.

Donation guidance

The site Charity Navigator has some advice for you if you are in a giving mood. It urges you to consider what kind of work the charity you are interested in does.

"Some are providing temporary shelter while others are providing food, water and medical assistance. Other charities are focused on long-term rebuilding efforts. And some are simply fundraising on behalf of other charities," the site says.

Charity Navigator, whose motto is "Your Guide to Intelligent Giving," rates charities for their financial health. On its site, you can also see its top-rated charities' statements describing what kind of assistance each group says it provides.

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