Live More Awesome wants high fives for charity gives

Live More Awesome wants high fives for charity gives

Mental health awareness charity Live More Awesome is asking people to literally 'gimme five' to fundraise for initiatives that combat depression.

Behind the fundraising drive are Jimi Hunt, best known for trekking the length of the Waikato river on a lilo — complete with a documentary and the book A Bit Mental — and his business partner Dan Drupsteen.

Hunt owns the design business The Creative Difference, while Drupsteen has Interactive Pulse. They formed Live More Awesome in 2011.

Each has battled depression and Hunt says when he returned from Lilo the Waikato he had about 1500 emails from people thanking him for encouragement to sort out their problems. Those made him realise he needed to help others as well as himself.

Hunt and Drupsteen dreamed up Gimmie Five as a more stable way of fundraising than the big stunts they'd previously used. Among previous efforts were building the world's biggest waterslide.

"That raised a bunch of cash, but I thought if we have to keep doing big things like that, that would do my head in. We needed continuous, ongoing funding each month," says Hunt.

For five dollars a month, donors vote via the website for one of five different 'gives' each month, or suggest their own. Among the current ones are vege gardens for schools, gratitude journals and waterslides for everyone.

"We used to feel really good when we gave money to a charity. We don't really get that any more — when you walk down the street and people ask you to give $20 to their charity. We wanted to fix that."

Donors can volunteer to help with the give, or receive a video of it from Live More Awesome. "You can see exactly what your five dollars did. That's something you don't get with other charities — [your donation] can disappear into the ether of organisational costs."

People can share the video on social media, with the aim that others will sign up, increasing the budget for bigger and better gives. The site went live at the start of the month and 50 have so far signed up.