A quick-witted dad who used a spelling howler to trick xenophobes into donating to a fundraising page for Afghan refugees – has already netted £27,000.
Simon Harris is hoping to raise £100,000 through his ‘Help Are Own First’ fundraising page, which he launched three days ago.
At first glance, the crowdfunding page appears to urge Brits to ‘Help Are Own’ with a Union Jack illustration and calls for Jeremy Corbyn to “resign in shame”.
But further reading reveals: “For the purposes of this appeal, ‘ARE OWN’ refers explicitly to Afghan families, who are currently being resettled in the United Kingdom.”
The fundraiser has gained traction online with hundreds of people donating to bring the page closer to its £100,000 target.
It is not thought that all donations came from xenophobic sympathisers and many genuinely-moved Brits have donated to help the Afghan’s plight.
Simon said: “I used the misspelling as I’m fed up with seeing it on Facebook and far right-wingers misreading the situation and using it as an opportunity to be racist.
“People just don’t seem to understand that these families that are coming over have been helping our own British forces and are lumping all refugees as ‘bad people’ that are going to do this and that.”
On the page, Simon explains how the donations will go to Community Agents Essex, which works closely with Afghan families arriving in the UK.
It adds: “This will help ensure that they have everything that they need for a comfortable and dignified new start.
“Any further funds will be distributed to the same organisation and any others who need urgent support.”
The fundraising page can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-are-own-firstRelate
Related: ‘There’s no time to waste:’ Airbnb opens up housing for 20,000 Afghan refugees