Reporting a Robbery via Facebook. Strange News?

The Associated Press reported today that a woman used Facebook to ask friends to report a robbery.

I love reading the news, not just the regular stuff but the water-cooler-conversation inducing fodder too. I was looking for a mindless diversion, something like this, “Pumpkin Found Hanging in Pear Tree” when I clocked on the “strange news” link in my e-mail this morning.

Today’s story hit a little closer to home, it was about a woman who used Facebook to ask for help after a robbery. Maybe it’s because I work where I do and stories about “tweeting for help” have become commonplace for us at the Red Cross but I think this is actually pretty common. We even did a recent study “Social Media in Disasters” that backs this up. It showed that about half of the respondents said they would consider asking for help during a disaster or to report a crime via social media channels; 3 out of 4 of those would expect help to arrive within an hour.
Would you turn to social media for help in a disaster or emergency? Have you already done so? Tell me your story.

Martha Carlos is the Communications Director at the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago

Facebook Members Like Us!

We Won! Facebook Members Chose the American Red Cross as Their Favorite Charity!
With 18,582 supporting votes, the American Red Cross placed first among eight non-profit organizations in the Western Union Foundation’s Our World Gives campaign. This means that the Western Union Foundation will award the American Red Cross $50,000 in support of our life-saving mission. For more information,
This support is important but we need even more help to continue our work. We’re getting busy as the cold weather increases. Last month alone we helped nearly 450 people in Chicagoland after their homes were damaged by home fires. Yesterday in Chicagoland we helped 51 people.
We’re trying to raise $30 million in the next 30 days to reach our goal in our national Campaign for Disaster Relief. Watch a video about this
Click here to help today!

Our World Gives application on Facebook

I love Facebook. I think I check it more than my e-mail. Are you using it? I think the whole world has Facebook since its expansion to users other than college students. If you’re not a Facebook user, get one! It’s amazing and now, it’s starting to support organizations’ social and charitable causes.

This week, the Western Union Company and the Western Union Foundation announced the launch of a new online platform for social giving, Our World Gives. The Our World Gives program invites Facebook members to “Do a good deed today” by mobilizing friends and family members to vote for one of the eight designated non-profit organizations including the American Red Cross. The organization with the most votes at the end of six weeks will receive a $50,000 donation from The Western Union Foundation.

The Facebook application can be found at

This is the easiest application to use on Facebook. Plus, it requires no money, just mouse clicks! Install the application on your Facebook page by clicking the button on the right side of the Our World Gives page. Once you do this, it’ll take you to a new page with the eight non-profit organizations listed.


Thanks for your support and have a safe Halloween!

-Tim Carbonara is a Marketing & Communications intern at the Greater Chicago chapter of the Red Cross. He can be seen checking Facebook on his phone every 15 minutes.