Some people sing for their supper, but not 11-year-old busker Milo McCarthy who plays the guitar on the streets for charity and has raised almost €3,000 in aid of Syrian refugees.
Milo, from Midleton, Co Cork, made €500 in just one hour while playing on Paul Street in Cork city centre last Saturday and is planning to repeat his performances every week from now until Christmas to help raise funds for desperate refugees.
“I plan to busk in Cork city and Midleton twice a week between now and Christmas or even longer if that’s what it takes to reach my target,” says Milo, who hopes people will help him raise money for the Migrant Crisis Appeal operated by the Irish Red Cross.
Milo’s taste for busking began in the summer of 2013 when he, his parents Jess and Ronan and younger siblings Oliver and Clara were on holiday in Kenmare, Co Kerry. “The first day I did very well, not so well the second day but I enjoyed it,” he recalls.
In between busking and raising money for charity, Milo has all the interests and passions of most boys his age but he also realises how lucky he is.
“I support Liverpool FC and I love rugby, reading and playing the Xbox,” he says. “I have so many things to look forward to in my life but I know I am no more deserving of anything than those children fleeing from Syria.”
Like many people around the world, Milo, who is in sixth class at St John The Baptist National School in Midleton, was saddened at the sight of so many refugees struggling to cross treacherous seas to enter Europe.
Recognising his young son’s talent, Ronan suggested it might be a good idea to do something to help the refugees. “My dad said it would be a good thing to do,” says Milo. “When I saw a photo of a young child I was very sad, but the main thing that shocked me was when I saw that the Greek coastguard was shooting at one of the dinghies.”
Parents Ronan and Jess, who run Midleton Books, are understandably proud of their son.
“It just shows what kids can do,” says Ronan. “We are hugely proud of him and his brother and sister who have given him great encouragement.”
Milo has been accepted onto the world fundraising website www.justgiving.com and has more than €2,000 in donations so far, and is hoping to go busking on the streets of Dublin as well.
Ronan hopes the appeal will attract corporate sponsorship. He also praises Milo’s school for their support. “They have been great and are planning to do a fundraiser and donate to the Milobusks campaign.”
To check on Milo’s progress, go online to www.justgiving.com/Milobusks or facebook.com/milobusks
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