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Student plans to raise €1m in just one day for the homeless

April 21st, 2016 7:15 AM

By Southern Star Team

Max Doyle, left, and Shane Lowry have joined forces to try and riase €1m in one day for the homeless

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A KINSALE student has given himself an ambitious challenge to try and tackle homelessness by raising €1m in one day.

Max Doyle has founded the first campaign of its kind in Ireland – entitled ‘One for Ireland’ – which has attracted the support of pro golfer Shane Lowry. 

The Trinity College graduate has come up with a simple mechanic that will see retailers nationwide ask customers to add €1 in one day – April 29th – to their bill when they pay at the till. 

The campaign hopes to raise the €1m for the 1,700 homeless children living in Ireland today. Currently there are 200 young homeless people in Cork alone.

Max, who is from Harbour Hill in the town, has been involved in other start-ups and was recognised by the Web Summit as one of the Top 100 Future Global Leaders in 2014. He was named Trinity Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015. 

The former Kinsale rugby player, is also a founder member of the Kinsale Arts Festival and also the ‘Cork says Yes’ campaign in the build-up to the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. This latest venture has seen the 23-year-old team up with the Irish Youth Foundation and a group of Trinity graduates who are volunteering their time for the campaign.

 ‘I am calling on as many shops, retailers, restaurants and coffee shops as possible to facilitate this in their stores on April 29th,’ he told The Southern Star.

Max is also looking for volunteers to help make the campaign a success, through encouraging their local retailers and businesses to sign up. 

‘Currently 1,400 retailers have signed up including Spar, Eurospar, Apple Green, Fresh, Mace, XL, Londis and Mace and Starbucks,’ he revealed, and Max wants to bring this number to 1,800.

The mechanic is simple – retailers will be provided with plastic barcode tags which can be inputted into the store’s system to the value of €1. Cashiers will then be instructed to ask every customer ‘Would you like to give One for Ireland?’ 

Retailers will be able to see how many units of the barcode were ‘sold’ and the store can transfer this back to One for Ireland at the end of the day. 

 ‘We wanted to do something to really make a difference to children and young people who are homeless in this country,’ he said.

‘As students, we don’t have a lot of money, but we figured what we could give was our time and that’s how One for Ireland was born,’ he explained. ‘The simplicity of the model ensures that it is sustainable, because it is affordable. We need to reach a large sum of people in order to achieve our target of €1m so getting retailers, restaurants, coffee shops etc on board is critical to achieving this.’

All funds donated in each area will be used to improve the lives of homeless children and young people living in that specific area through agencies like Focus Ireland, the Simon Community, St Vincent de Paul, The Peter McVerry Trust and Barnardos.  ‘This is the first time that these charities have worked together under one umbrella fundraising campaign and reflects the seriousness of the problem in Ireland today,’ said Max.

 The public can also donate by texting the word ‘One’ or ‘1’ to 50300 and €2 will then be debited from their credit or next bill. ‘Retailers can sign up at www.oneforireland.ie/retailers

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