What does a box of toiletries, a discount coupon and a self-help book have in common? They’re all shitty Christmas presents. Sure, it’s the thought that counts. But perhaps we could give a bit more thought into what we’re giving. Two Sydney brothers Alex and Rich Brophy decided it was time to put a charitable spin on the good old fashioned workplace Secret Santa.
Go Halves is a charitable initiative that encourages workplaces to split their Christmas gift limits so that one half can be donated to charity, and the other can still be used to purchase unmemorable (or memorable in a bad way) gifts for colleagues .
The Brophy brothers were inspired to create this initiative after their aunt, who lived most her life in high-definition, lost her eyesight. A few years back, her retinae were displaced; and after a couple of attempts at surgery she was left almost blind. At the time, the Brophy brothers wanted to do something for the charity that supported their aunt during tough times.
“Seeing how much VisAbility helped her adapt to a new life, how much they supported her off their own backs, it was pretty incredible,” said Alex, who’s also the Editorial Chief at Pinstripe Media.
“We came up with Go Halves as an integrated approach to raise money for our cause, then realised that everybody has something they’d love to support at Christmas.”
The Brophy brothers stressed that unlike many other fundraising platforms, on Go Halves, 100 percent of donations go directly to the chosen charity.
“Most other fundraising platforms take a cut before they pass your donation on, which seems a bit stiff to us,” explained Rich, Creative Copywriter at Freelance.
“To us, Go Halves is about making positive social change, not making a buck. Our hands-off approach means we don’t have admin fees, so all the money goes directly to your charity.”
Sunrise host, Port Adelaide Football Club chairman, and Alex’s boss at Pinstripe Media, David Koch believed in the initiative and came on board as an ambassador of Go Halves: “I think it’s a terrific initiative with a lot of merit. At this time of year people can forget about those less fortunate, but really, it’s the most important time to show your support.”
Koch’s family business will be supporting Youth Off The Streets with their office Secret Santa this year, a charity that’s close to the heats of Koch and his wife Libby.
“We’ve been involved with Father Chris Riley and his work establishing Youth Off The Streets for a number of years now, and what they’ve done to help disadvantaged youth turn their lives around is tremendous.”
“The strength of an initiative like Go Halves is in people donating money they might have spent on, let’s be honest, forgettable office gifts, and instead making a real difference. The way it starts a discussion around the causes close to people is just as important.”
Go Halves has been brought to life with the help of Newcastle-based digital agency Mudbath, who have donated their time and digital skills to the initiative.
Disclosure: Shoe String Media is in partnership with Pinstripe Media.