What extent would you go to feed your family? What if you had no money, would you make an honest living or result to crime? Well, this one father went to his bare lowest in life and resulted him to seeing pens on a street.
This guys name is Abdul and is from Syria, this was not known to the photographer at the time but was later discovered when Gissur Simonarson the photographer posted these heartbreaking photos of this single father selling pens online. In the initial photo, you can see the single father carrying his daughter on his shoulder as he scrums to sell pens on the street, just so he has enough money to buy food for his starving daughter.
When Gissur Simonarson posted these pictures online, the response was astounding. Gasser was swamped with requests wanting to help this lone father and his daughter. Since so many people wanted to help, Gissur went out to seek for this guy. Gasser was able to track this guy down with some help of one of his twitter followers, who messaged Gissur and told him that he recognized the street and didn’t live far, and saw the guy on a daily basis. It didn’t take long for Gissur to lung into action and be in contact with Abdul.
Gasser the photographer spoke with the Abdul and learnt a bit more about him, and discovered he was a Syrian refugee. Abdul’s country has been over run by war, and chaos everywhere, from street to street. As the bombings got worse, Abdul saw the opportunity to flee his country and go to Lebanon. Gasser discovered that Abdul also has another child, totalling two children. Gasser told Abdul about why he met up with him and that he had support ready on hand from people all across the world, Abdul was overwhelmed by hearing this.
Gasser set up a fundraising page on IndieGoGo, as this would be the best way to collect all donations from around the world. As 100% of the donations go towards the cause, no middle man fee/tax. Thirty minutes after Gasser set up the fundraiser, he already raised five thousand dollars, which he set as the goal for the fundraiser. Gissur explained, “This was never meant as a cap, just something to start with. Let’s make sure that Abdul and Reem can really start a great new life. All extra donations will go directly to them as well.” Five days later, there was a total of $173,000 raised.
Through all of the contact Gasser made on Twitter, he came across Carol Malouf who works for a refugee aid organization, who offered to help. She helped provide Abdul’s family with food and water, as well as relocated them to a safe location. Abdul explained to Carol that he would like to use the money raised to send his two children to school and get them educated, and also help out other refugees who are going through something similar. He considers himself as one of the lucky ones, since he got the opportunity to escape.
Most people would have taken all of the money raised for them, and kept it for their selves and family. But this shows how humble Abdul really is, as he is donating what he doesn’t need from the funds to help others, no many people would do something such as that in those situations.
Total raised in this crowdfunding was a staggering $191,239 USD which was raised by 7,218 people in 3 months. Which was 3,781% of the $5,000 goal set by Gasser. This shows you how great humans can be in time of need.