Book club appeal raises over €20k for charity, including major donation from Russell Crowe

The Hollywood star has given a very generous donation to the fundraiser, which is raising money for Peter McVerry Trust and the DSPCA
Book club appeal raises over €20k for charity, including major donation from Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe has donated €5,000 to an Irish charity appeal.

The DSPCA and Peter McVerry Trust can now boast about a new Hollywood supporter thanks to a charity appeal from Ireland’s largest book club.

Each Christmas, the Rick O’Shea Book Club on Facebook raises funds through an online donation process for Irish charities, last year reaching almost €30,000 in donations. Now in its fourth year, it could overtake that figure thanks in part to one celebrity donor: Russell Crowe.

RTÉ broadcaster Rick O’Shea, who runs the book club on Facebook, provides updates on the total on his own social media accounts and on Thursday when encouraging his followers to consider adding to his figure, he drew the attention of the Gladiator star who was quick to support both charities.

“We are halfway there. Any super-rich followers of mine fancy topping that up to €30,000 so I can stop yammering on about this between now and Xmas?” O’Shea jokingly tweeted, only to provide an unexpected update a few hours later with a screenshot of Crowe’s €5,000 donation.

 Rick O'Shea, who organised the fundraiser. Picture: Moya Nolan
Rick O'Shea, who organised the fundraiser. Picture: Moya Nolan

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, O’Shea says he was “speechless” as a result of the star’s generosity. “As for getting a five grand donation from one of the most famous actors in the world? I think it's the first time in my life I'm genuinely speechless.” 

It’s not the first time Crowe has supported the DSPCA in particular. A few weeks ago, he shared a video of one of their older dogs who was in need of a home and, thanks to his retweet, Ruby found a family.

“Our gorgeous older girl Ruby met a wonderful couple yesterday,” they tweeted last month. “It was love at first sight and she headed off home with them. Let’s hope it all goes well for her, she so deserves it. Thank you @russellcrowe for sharing her story.” 

O’Shea says he chose the two charities to highlight the work both do around the country.

“I chose the Peter McVerry Trust from day one as they do such amazing work in a homelessness crisis that hasn't gotten any better since 2018, the first year I ran this. We adopted our two amazing doggies from the DSPCA last year, they deserve all of our love for the work they do.” 

The DPSCA has thanked Crowe for his “incredible generosity” and Peter McVerry Trust has paid tribute to everyone who donated: “Your generosity will bring hope to people living in our homeless services this Christmas,” they say.

The Rick O'Shea Book Club Xmas Appeal is running until January 3, 2022. If you would like to make a donation, please click here.

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