A major charity campaign was launched on November 13 and will collect donations through mobile texting to help Agent Orange victims and poor households enjoy the coming traditional Tet (lunar new year).

People can support the campaign by texting TET to 1406. Each SMS costs 12,000 VND (0.6 USD).

The Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Red Cross (who is one of the partners running the campaign), Doan Van Thai, told a press conference held on the day that the donations will be used to provide gifts worth from 300,000 VND (15 USD) each, to at least 1 million poor households and Agent Orange victims nationwide.

The Red Cross is cooperating with the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Vietnam Television Corporation on the campaign, which will run from now until February 14, 2013. The next lunar new year starts from February 10, 2013.

Reviewing the charity text-message campaigns the organisation has run over the past three years, Thai said that remarkable results had been achieved in mobilising community support to help the poor and victims of natural disasters nationwide.

The society began in 1999, and has since raised more than 1.3 trillion VND (nearly 63 million USD) to support more than 8.2 million poor households during the Tet festival.

In 2010, they received nearly 21 billion VND (1 million USD) in a 45-day text-message campaign to help natural disaster victims in the central provinces .

The money was used to provide emergency aid, including 418 tonnes of rice and 1,200 cows, and also helped to build 110 houses and provide 120 scholarships for children.

The Red Cross also collected nearly 4.35 billion VND (over 200,000 USD) to help people in the country’s poor districts in 2011, and 4.68 billion VND (222,000 USD) to help victims of the Tsunami in Japan last year./.VNA