In light of the massive superstorm that hit the Atlantic coast earlier this week, Apple, the most valuable technology company in the world, launched a donation page Thursday morning to help raise money for relief victims of Hurricane Sandy, with a link also appearing on the company's homepage. According to Apple, 100 percent of proceeds will go directly to the American Red Cross.
"Help Superstorm Sandy survivors by making a monetary donation to the American Red Cross," Apple said on its iTunes Store. "Click the Donate button under the amount you wish to donate. iTunes will transfer 100% of your donation to the American Red Cross."
Apple allows users to donate between $5 to $200 at a time.
"Because iTunes is not sharing your personal information with the American Red Cross, the American Red Cross is unable to further acknowledge your donation," Apple says. "You will receive an email receipt from the iTunes Store which will serve as your only acknowledgement of your donation. The donation will also appear on your credit card statement as a transaction with the iTunes Store."
Hurricane Sandy, which was one of the biggest and most powerful hurricanes on record, left more than 8 million people without power from South Carolina to Maine, and has claimed at least 38 lives. The storm also caused a great deal of infrastructure damage along the east coast and was extremely disruptive to travel and transportation, resulting in the cancellation of more than 15,000 flights since Monday and the shutdown of New York City's subway and transit systems.
The American Red Cross has been assisting those victims of Hurricane Sandy by providing them "essential aid including shelter, meals, basic health care, emotional support and other emergency services."
"On the night Sandy made landfall, the American Red Cross responded immediately, with more than 250 shelters open across sixteen states that provided overnight stays to nearly 11,000 people," the American Red Cross says on its website. "Sandy is a big and destructive storm, and the relief efforts for Sandy will be long and difficult. People will continue to need help for weeks, even months, to put their lives back together. And we need your help today."
Apple says that those who choose to donate to the American Red Cross via iTunes will not receive any goods or services in return for their contributions, and customers cannot use iTunes Store credit to make donations. In addition, iTunes Store donations don't qualify for any kind of tax deduction or other tax benefits.
At Apple's iPhone 5 media event in September, the company boasted more than 400 million iTunes accounts with credit or debit cards attached, which means all of these customers can easily donate to the Red Cross with Apple's famously-successful 1-click Purchase system.
This is not the first time Apple has pitched in to help disaster relief victims. In 2010, Apple opened up a donation page to assist in helping the victims of the earthquakes in Haiti, and most recently, Apple launched a donation page to assist the Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims in March 2011. Both times, all proceeds went directly to the American Red Cross.
In regards to other charities, Apple also continues to sell a number of its iOS devices in the (Product)RED color exclusively through its Apple Stores, which sees a portion of every sale donated to helping fight AIDs in Africa.