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February 9 , 2010 

Toronto Tweets into action to help Haiti victims
Social media community units

Toronto 's social media communities used the power of their Twitter streams to organize HaiHaiTO, a volunteer-run fundraising party in support of the Canadian Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.

HaiHaiTO takes place on Thursday, February 11 from 7 p.m. at the Courthouse, located at 57 Adelaide Street East in Toronto. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.haihaito.com

Speakers from Pierspective Entraide Humanitaire, Toronto Haiti Action Committee, and Canadian Red Cross Disaster Management team will take the stage at the event, followed by special performances of Haitian folkloric dance.

The appeal of a night of great music and performances, prizes, interactive media, and the chance to put a face to twitter avatars sealed the deal for over 100 people who already bought their tickets. HaiHaiTO organizers have yet to meet in person - every detail of this event was coordinated online.

"These pictures and video coming out of Haiti of children suffering the effects of a catastrophic earthquake made me feel that my personal donations just weren't enough. Inspired by success of similar events, I reached out to the Toronto tech community for help in organizing HaiHaiTO. The rest is history," commented Tim Yull, one of the organizers behind HaiHaiTO.

"We have seen a tremendous impact through the efforts of those actively using social media to increase awareness and motivate action to help the people of Haiti," said Ron Kelusky, director general for the Red Cross in Ontario. "The support of HaiHaiTO organizers and participants will help the Red Cross continue to provide for immediate needs including shelter, clean water and medical support as well as address longer-term needs of the affected communities as we help them rebuild and recover."

HaiHaiTO partnered with GenYTO, a local group of young entrepreneurs from the Toronto startup tech and marketing community. HaiHaiTO organizers also secured sponsorships and donations from a number of companies, including Freshbooks, Torch Partnership, Burst Technology Marketing, Acuity Forums, Flip Video and others.

For information about sponsorship, donations and ticket sales, visit the www.haihaito.com for full details, or search for messages tagged #haihaito on Twitter.

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