A YORKSHIRE man has raised just under €2million in an online bailout crowdfunding initiative for Greece.
Thom Feeney grew tired of the ongoing “dithering” over the Greek economic crisis and decided to set about helping the country battle through its difficult times.
“This isn't just about Greece, but about the Greek people, the working classes and trying to help other ordinary people across the world,” the 29-year-old from York explains on his online crowdfunding page.
“If governments, corporations or banks won't help, what can we do but band together?
“If we don't reach that target, what a wonderful message it sends out.”
The Greeks voted no on Sunday (July 5) to striking a deal with the countries they owe money to.
The level of debt in the state has seen everyday expense rises, with unemployment among 16-24 year olds at a record high of 50 per cent.
Thom's crowdfunding had several options available for those who were willing to donate.
For a donation of €3, a postcard was sent to the funder from Greece, for €6 you could get a Greek salad and for €25 you would receive a bottle of Greek wine.
Those who were generous enough to donate €1m would receive “a lot of gratitude from citizens of Europe and particularly the Greek people”.
Thom started the initiative on June 29, with a target of €1.6 billion (the amount Greece required for a loan instalment to the IMF).
That was the day before the payment was due from the Greeks – but Thom’s initiative was about more than bailing the country out.
“It shows that whether you're a working class lad in Yorkshire, Scotland or Athens other people around the world care about you, even if your government has forgotten,” he said. “You can make a difference.”
Though Thom managed to raise an incredible €1,930,577 in just over a week, the money sadly will not make its way to Greece now that the deadline has passed.
Crowdfunding only works when the target is reached or surpassed within the deadline that is set at the beginning of the initiative.
Undeterred, Thom is still determined to help the people of Greece and has set up a second crowdfunding opportunity with a much lower target. In the next 14 days, he aims to raise €1m to go directly towards helping the people of Greece battle through this period of mass unemployment and economic devastation.
In just eight hours, Thom has raised close to the £30,000 mark and hopes to reach and surpass his new target by the end of his campaign.
Much like Greece, Thom has no concrete plans for where life will take him – but he harbours a secret ambition to emigrate to his ancestral homeland of Ireland.
“My great-grandfather emigrated from Ireland to England, my grandfather from England to Australia and my father from Australia to England,” he explained to The Irish Post.
“So I've always thought I needed to immigrate to Ireland to complete the circle!”