For the Red Cross, this week has been its first foray into text message donations, said spokeswoman Meredith Connelly. As of noon Thursday, the effort had generated $4 million for the charity, a Red Cross spokesman said. Verizon Wireless spokesman Howard Waterman said later in the day he understood donations made via text messaging had reached $5 million.

By comparison, Waterman said, in 2009 - the "biggest mobile giving year in history" - texts from all wireless carriers to all participating charities totaled $4 million.

A $10 donation can be made by texting HAITI to 90999. Here's how:

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If your cell phone has text-messaging capability, type HAITI as the message. Instead of entering a phone number, type 90999. Expect to receive a confirmation message within a few minutes; then reply "yes" to complete the donation.

Spokesmen for AT&T and Verizon said Thursday 100 percent of all donations will go to the Red Cross. Donors will not be charged text-messaging fees. AT&T spokesman Steven Schwadron said Thursday the company updated its systems so that the text messages sent to the relief efforts are free.