Is it acceptable to crowdfund your children’s Christmas presents?

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Thursday, November 22, 2018

A dad-of-five has received a lot of attention after asking strangers to help buy Christmas presents for children via a GoFundMe page.

Ben Buckley from Hull said he did not have enough money to give his family a happy Christmas after having to take time off from work to look after his pregnant partner when she was ill.

The 32-year-old said he felt “embarrassed” to ask for help in this way, but is it acceptable to crowdfund your children’s Christmas presents? Or is it taking advantage of other people’s emotions?



talkRADIO’s Jamie East does not think it is, and says it should have “never existed”.

“This should never have even existed. I appreciate that he felt embarrassed and shameful and I can see why,” he said.

He added: “He can’t have felt that bad about it [if he took the money].

“There have been times when I have been signing on the dole and been on housing benefit with kids.

“I was earning minimum wage, or even less than the minimum wage. I would never have dreamed of asking for anyone else to pay for stuff.”

He added that people would tell him to “shut the hell up” if he tried to crowdfund himself.

“What if everybody did this? I’m struggling to pay my water rate on time next month, should I crowdfund that?,” he said.

“People would look at that and say ‘Jamie is on the radio, he does not need any money and he can shut the hell up’. That is far from the truth but why would I dream of asking that?

“I just find it bizarre.”



Comedian Maddy Anholt does not see anything wrong with what Ben did, adding that people just want to be “offended”.

“It is a choice and people are so willing to be offended,” she said.

“He was pushed to do it because of the warehouse job that he was working.

“He was on a zero hour contract and only working for minimum wage.

“His wife had been ill and he said he felt pushed to do it.

“He said that he did not want to do it in the first place and actually he shut the funding page because he received way over the money he intended.”

Ms Anholt added that she felt Jamie’s example and Ben’s were “completely different”.

“I think your position and his position are completely different,” she said.

“Crowdfunding is made by the people, for the people. No one is door-stepping anybody and I don’t think this is emotional blackmail.

“No one is going to people’s doors and asking people to help them raise the money.”