Charity best works when the most influential people spearhead it, and what is more influential than Google today? For the first time, Google has asked its users to donate money in an effort to end Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
In its blog, Google had pledged to match every single Dollar donated by its users with $2. The company has already met its target of $7.5 million dollars, $2.5 million of which came from the users and $5 million from Google.
Organised by Google.org, the online giant's philanthropic wing, Fight Ebola has partnered with four internationally reputed charities: Doctors Without Borders, which provides emergency medical relief to West Africa; International Rescue Committee, which trains local health workers, prevents infection, offers safe burials and maintains primary health facilities; Partners in Health, which by partnering with workers in Liberia and Sierra Leone to treat Ebola patients, train community health workers and deliver quality care; and Save the Children, which builds retreatment centres, trains and equips healthcare workers and provides for the children orphaned by Ebola.
Other than the funds they are raising, Google had also donated $10 million to support philanthropic organisations such as InSTEDD, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Save the Children , International Rescue Committee, Partners in Health, NetHope and U.S. Fund for UNICEF, all of which are working to help contain the outbreak of the epidemic.
The CEO of the search engine giant, Larry Page, individually donated $15 million through his family's foundation. "Donate to Ebola and google will match! My wife and I just donated $15 million in addition to Google's $10 million...our hearts go out to everyone affected," Page posted on the blog.
Google is not stopping with just sending money to end the epidemic, though. In an interview with npr, Google.org Director Jacquelline Fuller said that they would also be sending a team of engineers to assist the "Doctors Without Borders" and develop mobile tools, devices for mobile tracing and so on.
"Whenever we fund, we always look and see if there are specific technologies, or new, innovative approaches that can be tried," Fuller said.
Google reminds users that there is still a long way to go in terms of ending the Ebola crisis: "Although Google is no longer matching donations, please consider donating directly to our non-profit partners".
To donate, visit Google's "Fight Ebola" page and send money to the charity of your choice.