S'porean raises more than $7,500 through crowdfunding to help Vietnamese tourist
A Singaporean’s online crowdfunding campaign to help Vietnamese tourist Pham Van Thoai has gone viral.
By Wednesday 10.15pm, an Indiegogo page started by Mr Gabriel Kang has raised US$6,006 ($7,776) from 821 different donors.
Aside from raising more than four times its US$1,350 target, the page has received more than 5,800 shares on Facebook.
Mr Kang’s initial aim was to raise enough money to ship a 128GB iPhone 6 to Mr Pham as well as some local treats to make up for his “destroyed” holiday.
After exceeding his goal, Mr Kang posted an update stating that the additional funds will go towards giving Mr Pham and his girlfriend another holiday in Singapore.
But Shin Min Daily News reported on Wednesday that Mr Pham declined a $550 donation from one of its readers.
The 30-year-old factory worker was reduced to tears as he lost $550 - more than two months of his $200 salary - while trying to buy an iPhone 6 for his girlfriend from Sim Lim Square retailer Mobile Air on Monday.
While he was grateful for the gesture, Mr Pham said he was wary of the publicity and decided not accept to the offer.
He said: “I just want to put everything behind me as quickly as possible.”
Mr Kang also indicated that he would be “diverting resources” from the excess funds to help an international student who, like Mr Pham, was treated similarly at another shop in Sim Lim Square.
Mr Kang describes himself as an “ordinary Singaporean” who felt Mr Pham “was dealt a great injustice”.
While Mr Pham has since returned home, Mr Kang has sought the help of the Consumers Association of Singapore to get his contact details.