Bucket List #4


These are the collection buckets we used to raise money for the Hope Foundation.  Gavin, Jerry, Esha and I have variously waved these buckets at the very many generous people of Cashel, Thurles and various Tipperary townlands.  We brought them to Rugby matches in Dublin and Limerick, and to Hurling games in Semple Stadium.  They have seen the warm days of summer and the cold dark days of winter.

They have earned a proud position in my “Bucket List” as they contain many great memories of a good year.

Four years ago my oldest son Jerry participated in the trip to Kolkata with Rockwell College.  He documented his journey on his blog:


This year it was all about my younger son, Gavin, who made his own trip, which he recorded on wordpress, twitter, snapchat, etc.  His fundraising exploits are on his  wordpress site:


PLEASE DO NOT SEND THEM MONEY.  They have finished their trips and made their visits to Kolkata.  But if you would like to support the fabulous work of the Hope Foundation feel free to do so at their site:


What I like about the Hope Foundation is that it is a charity that strives to make itself useless.  What do I mean by that?

Some charities operate in a way that perpetuates dependency.  Their business is to “help” disadvantaged people.  But if they are “too successful” there will be no poor people left to help and they will effectively be out of business.  Self-perpetuating charities are not things I like, or appreciate.

I am very much of the mind to take people out of dependency.  This is where Hope operate.  They focus on educating kids to escape the cycle of slum living.  They help the parents to escape the cycle by supporting small enterprises, and by freeing up the parents to work by caring for the kids in crèches.  The greatest day for Hope Foundation will be when they can happily close down their facilities in Kolkata because their job is done.

That is not a pipedream.  It can happen.

As my son Jerry reminds me frequently “Give a man a Hamburger and he eats for a day.  Teach him to Hamburger, and that metaphor only works for Fish”.

The Fish:  by William Butler Yeats

Although you hide in the ebb and flow
Of the pale tide when the moon has set,
The people of coming days will know
About the casting out of my net,
And how you have leaped times out of mind
Over the little silver cords,
And think that you were hard and unkind,
And blame you with many bitter words.





Change the world

Change the world

My No.2 son is embarking on a life changing journey.  Here in Ireland we have an optional “transition year” in secondary school.  It takes the focus off exams and gives students the opportunity to explore subjects, occupations and activities that may influence their life choices.  One focus is on voluntary work and charity giving.  It is great to see education that focuses on what you can do for society rather than racing blindly into a career path.

One of the greatest things you can become is a philanthropist.  Some start small and early.  Others take many years to understand that giving away your money makes you far happier than accumulating it.  Chuck Feeney followed in the steps of great American philanthropists such as John D. Rockerfeller and George Eastman.  Initially Feeney stayed in the shadows, secretly channeling his money through Atlantic Philanthropies.

Then Feeney had a revelation.  He realised that he could achieve more by using his position and his example to stimulate philanthropy in other billionaires.  So he went public and in the process he set an example for Bill Gates.  When Bill and Melinda set up their foundation it convinced Warren Buffet.  Giving is like a contagious disease, one that makes the givers feel great.

So I am glad to see my son step down the path of philanthropy in his own small way.  A tender sapling like this needs to be supported and nurtured and fed and watered.  If you would like to follow his journey he will post his progress on his own blog:  Gavin’s Kolkata Blog

If you would like to take your interest a step further and do a little of the feeding and watering then his charity crowd funding site is here:

Gavin’s Crowd Funding Donation Site

If you would like to help but don’t have the funds at present, a share, a forward, a comment, even a like helps keep things going.  But don’t “Like” my page, go over and like his 🙂