Sad, strange and successful: Crowdfunding in our region
A YOUNG woman raising money for a trip to an orphanage in Kenya. A mum of two facing terminal cancer. A bloke trying to to replace his beloved car's turbo charger. A single mum who needs a car.
Browsing through the local projects listed on community crowdfunding site GoFundMe reveals a gold mine of interesting local stories, from the sad to the desperate, the inspiring to the quirky and creative.
Unlike other crowdfunding sites, GoFundMe users don't have to hit their target to get any cash. The site also has relaxed rules around what projects are eligible. That makes it ideal for small appeals where any donations are welcome. Of course, it can also attract scammers.
On the North Coast alone, there is currently about 219 appeals on the popular website.
Many of the appeals seem to be thrown up on the site with little thought or planning, and as a result these desperate pleas often don't seem to generate any money, however moving they might be.
None are in the league of local father-and-son duo Stuart and Cedar Anderson, whose success in raising more than $12 million to manufacture their Flow Hive invention has made them the poster children for crowdfunding sites.
On the other hand, some are innovative appeals which work well within the site's small-scale parameters, and obviously have a well thought out social media strategy.
River Rats for Duc Xuan School: A group of Year 10 students raised $2200 in one month to help fund building materials on their forthcoming trip to Vietnam, where they will help build a school hall in a remote area and immerse themselves in the culture of the village while doing so.
Teaching the homeless to busk: Clunes local Cecilia Brandolini has raised $1600 of $2000 for her project to teach homeless people to busk, by gifting them a ukulele and chord charts and a lesson.
Sam Morgan Shark Attack Victim Fund, Bangalow: Almost $7000 has been raised to support the recovery of shark attack victim Sam Morgan, who was attacked in November. A total of 77 people have donated so far.
Fight for Krystal Lee, Dyraaba: The seemingly healthy 30-year-old collapsed with a stroke while at work, almost three weeks ago. In that time her friends and family have raised more than $12,000 to support her husband and three children with travel, accommodation, medical and rehabilitation costs.
Maremma Memoirs: Sha Shep owns two Maremma dogs, Brina and Sage, and wants to raise $8000 to publish Maremma Memoirs, "a collection of short stories revealing the quirks, personalities and unique characteristics of maremmas". So far she has raised $330 in eight days.
Thomas and Rachel's Defacto Visa: A true romance under threat by immigration officials. Rachel is Canadian, Thomas is an Aussie. To stay in Australia Rachel now needs a defacto visa, which costs $1000. They say "whatever is funded will without a doubt help us live out our happily-ever-after. No donations yet.
Moon Cloud Teahouse: Charlie Tide is a self-confessed "plant nerd" who needs $8000 to build a mobile "tea house" from which he will travel Australia and make his sacred tea house available for all. Mr Tide says he feels that "traditional skills that connect us to our nature (are) paramount to our wellbeing, to our feeling of innate connection". So far he has raised $126 in seven days.