November 12, 2013
Apple has just opened its virtual doors to all iTunes Store customers who wish to make donations for the countless people in the Philippines who are affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda, is considered the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall on record. With winds of up to 315 km/h (195 mph), Haiyan made first landfall on Nov. 7 in the Visayas region of the Philippines. Since then, it has caused widespread devastation in the country, with the official death toll already nearing 2,000. To aid the disaster relief efforts in the Philippines in the aftermath of the supertyphoon, Apple is once again accepting donations via the iTunes Store. Through a special Philippine Typhoon relief page on the desktop iTunes Store and the iOS App Store, Apple allows you to make online donations at $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, and $200 denominations. Whichever amount you choose will be billed to the credit card you have on file for your iTunes Store account, and will be turned over to the American Red Cross:
iTunes will transfer 100% of your donation to the American Red Cross. Because iTunes is not sharing your personal information with the American Red Cross, the American Red Cross is unable to further acknowledge your donation. You will receive an email receipt from the iTunes Store which will serve as your only acknowledgment of your donation. The donation will also appear on your credit card statement as a transaction with the iTunes Store. You do not purchase any goods or receive any services from iTunes by making a donation. Any donation collected by iTunes is collected in the name and on the account of the American Red Cross. This donation may not qualify for any tax deduction or other tax benefits. iTunes Store credit cannot be used to make a donation.As someone who hails from the Philippines, I am especially appreciative of this move on Apple's part. Last year, the California-based company put up a similar donation page in aid of relief efforts amid the wreckage left by Hurricane Sandy in the U.S. Previously, Apple enabled customers to contribute disaster relief for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami.