Update 2: Mobile viewers, you can use our mobile donation portal.
Update 1: Within the space of 24 hours, we’ve already hit our initial target of $500. We’re now raising our target to $1000 in donations. We will match this dollar-for-dollar. Help us reach the $1000 target, so we can give $2000 to Brian (in addition to the funds Claire has raised via IndieGoGo).
As you’re probably aware (though we try not to push it too much), the team behind Ausdroid is a bit of a community minded bunch. Not only do we love bringing you the latest in tech news with an Android and Chrome flavour, but we also like to do a bit of work in the community as well.
When we saw Claire Porter’s campaign to raise funds to help Brian Rudd, we couldn’t help but get involved. If you’ve ever spent a bit of time in Sydney, particularly around Pitt Street Mall and Martin Place, you’ve probably seen Brian offering his shoe polishing services to the public.
A bit about Brian
Brian has been living on the street most of his life. He almost always refuses to accept money unless he can provide a service for people in return. He’s never had a Christmas present. His years on the street do not seem to have hardened him, even though he was seperated from his alcoholic parents and four siblings when he was very young. Two of them have since taken their lives.
Brian has been giving back to the homeless community for years, hosting talks on mental health amongst the homeless and providing emotional and mental support for others in his situation. Brian told Claire:
“Mental illness is a problem most people don’t take seriously. It can strike you in a second, your mum, your dad. But people don’t care.”
We know that mental health issues can affect anyone, but they can be especially prevalent amongst Sydney’s homeless community.
Why this campaign?
Brian was recently reported – falseley – to have passed away. Thankfully, the reports of Brian’s death are greatly exaggerated. However, Brian is still very sick. He has recently suffered two heart attacks and an epileptic fit. Brian has been deemed well enough to be back on the streets, I suppose. But that won’t last.
Claire started an IndieGoGo campaign with an ambitious goal to raise $20,000 to help Brian to get a roof over his head, and the healthcare he needs. It was at this point that I and the team behind Ausdroid’s Foundation became aware of the cause and decided to become involved.
Between Claire and Ausdroid Community Foundation, we may not necessarily make the goal of $20,000 for Brian, but anything we can raise will certainly make a great difference for him.
How can you help?
For the next week (until 24 April) we will be running a matched donation campaign. For every dollar donated by our readers, the Ausdroid Community Foundation will match that dollar to put together a grant for Brian. We are setting a goal of $500 from our readers at this point, but we may go further depending on how successful the campaign is.
Donating is simple — you can donate using our secure form in the sidebar of this website using your credit card. All donors giving $20 or more will receive a letter of thanks and an Ausdroid Community Foundation lapel pin, together with your official receipt.
Further, Claire is offering a number of thank you gifts to donors which are set out on her campaign page.