The One for Ireland campaign has issued 10,000 unique barcodes to 1,400 retailers around the country, meaning shoppers can be asked at the tills if they want to make a donation. If they decide to do so, the barcode is scanned and the euro is added to the shopper’s bill.
The fundraising drive is being carried out in collaboration with the Irish Youth Foundation and is the brainchild of Max Doyle from Kinsale, Co Cork.
The 23-year-old is a law and business graduate from Trinity College Dublin and was named at the Web Summit in 2014 as one of the Top 100 Future Global Leaders.
The One for Ireland campaign has set a target of raising €1m to support those in or at risk of youth homelessness. Retailers that have pledged their support include Spar, Eurospar, Apple Green, Fresh, Mace, XL, Londis, and Mace, as well as Starbucks.
The fundraising drive takes place on April 29 and has secured the backing of golfer Shane Lowry, among others, although members of the public can make larger donations at any stage via oneforireland.ie.
“Youth homelessness is, we feel, the biggest issue,” said Mr Doyle, adding that “100% of every euro goes to youth homelessness”.
All money raised will be spent on projects operated by the Peter McVerry Trust, Simon Communities, SVP and Focus Ireland.
For the purpose of the fundraising initiative at the retailers across Ireland, the country has been divided into nine regions, and in each of those areas one specific project will receive money.
“We are focused on preventative measures rather than interim measures,” said Mr Doyle.
He said the fundraising mechanism had never been applied at a national level before and that the idea was to as large a number of people as possible donate small amounts.
“We are trying to give everyone in Ireland an opportunity to give €1,” he said, adding that the aim of raising €1m was “an incredible target”.
Donations can be made any time at www.oneforireland.ie. They are also on Facebook.