Richard Branson recently blogged about Nancy Lublin, founder of Crisis Text Line.
“Sometimes a solution to a problem can be right at your fingertips,” wrote Branson. "That was certainly the case for Nancy Lublin, who realised the best way to communicate with teenagers in need was to speak their language – texts.
“Nancy Lublin came to our Virgin Unite Disrupting for Good Leadership gathering and spoke to the group recently; it was inspiring to hear her talk about her journey. She has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to make positive change in the world. She turned a $5,000 inheritance into Dress for Success, which helps women transition from welfare to work in more than 125 cities in 15 countries. Next, she became CEO of DoSomething.org, the largest organization for teens and social change in the world.
“But she didn’t stop there. Nancy decided to create her third company, Crisis Text Line – the first 24/7, free, nationwide text line for US teens. She got in touch with me asking for help introducing her to telecoms companies, who could waive the new charity’s fees and remove them from billing statements. I was of course more than happy to help.
“Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T all agreed to waive charges for sending messages to the hotline, as well as the charges for the hotline itself. What’s more, they agreed to ensure texts don’t show up on billing records, protecting people from potentially alerting abusive spouses or family members. The goodwill of the mobile companies will save Crisis Text Line hundreds of thousands of dollars – as well as improve safety for texters.
“Crisis Text Line, now handles more than 20,000 messages from teenagers in distress every day and has processed more than seven million messages. Also, while they thought it would just be for teens, they are helping people of all ages.”