Our fundraiser of the month is Jack Hubbard, who’s raised a staggering £10,100 in memory of his brother Luke, through this Justgiving page: http://www.justgiving.com/forluke.
Here he is with Luke and Adam, when they were younger.
Jack’s raising the money for Depression Alliance, which works to help the millions of people suffering from depression in the UK, of which Luke was one.
Jack and Luke’s dad, Rob Hubbard, contacted us last month to let us know about the amazing series of fundraising challenges that Jack’s organising throughout 2009, for so many of Luke’s family and friends. Here’s what he told us:
“Luke, our youngest son, died last year while on holiday in India, and our oldest son Adam who was with him has been with CA and AA since then and has just collected his one year clean badge.
Jack, realising that his parents and brother needed something positive to focus on for Luke, decided to use 2009 as a fundraiser in memory of Luke and for Depression Alliance. Depression and addiction go very close in hand and he has spent a lot of time making people aware of this and helping the charity help others. Not much is known about this, because depression and drugs are a social no-no, but it affects many people like Luke.
Jack, with the help of Justgiving, has so far raised £12,000 and we are only in February. It has got people talking about it because most of them know someone who suffers or is affected in some way by it.
First up was last Sunday – a half marathon in Brighton where we had 40 runners in ‘Run For Luke’ t-shirts and caught the imagination of many of the other runners and supporters.
It’s such a great amount of money for an individual to raise, and we were really moved and impressed by Jack’s determination. We got back in touch with Rob to find out more, and here’s his interview. Jack added his own answers later. Their memories of Luke are really moving and we’re very grateful to them for taking the time to give us an insight into his life and the importance of this cause.
We’re really impressed by Jack’s positivity at such a difficult time. Where did the idea to fundraise come from?
Rob: Jack is always positive about things. He sends a large group of us emails telling us the next challenge to do and then we sign up and away we go. If it wasn’t for Jack, we would all be milling about. I suggested to Jack that depression was the cause to go for, as it hurt Luke so much. He Googled and found you, got onto Justgiving and bingo, 2009 was the year to do things on behalf of Luke and for Depression Alliance!
Jack: Such a big event in your life is very powerful, and it’s important to make sure this is harnessed in a positive way, or it can be very destructive. I’ve found that exercise, and getting everyone together behind a cause to fundraise, has helped me, my friends and my family to remain positive during a difficult time.
Can you tell us more about Luke?
Rob: Luke was the youngest of my three boys and was “an innocent abroad”! Although he partied hard, drank too much drink and took too many drugs, he was very thoughtful and had a philosophical view about many things. He loved old people, kids and pets, in fact anyone who was vulnerable, and he loved their innocence.
Luke suffered with depression form the age of about 14/15, albeit in a mild way. The first time we noticed it was Christmas – he didn’t like it very much, too much forced jollity. He often stayed in his room when we had guests – although you wouldn’t know it, because he always kind and friendly.
He was cheeky though, we had a Lexus car and when he was 14, he took his mate up the sweet shop in it when we were out. He was an enigma, getting involved in everything going and yet hiding away from the world quite often. A sign you will probably understand. When he found drink and drugs, it enabled him to socialise more until he felt uncomfortable without it, and then the depression got stronger and he couldn’t live without SSRIs.
The “lend us £20 Mum” was well known here. But overall he was universally loved by all he came into contact with. He had a winning smile that floored most people – even those he upset soon came round to his charm and wonderful humour. He saw things in others that most people missed and was a great mimic, so he would have everyone laughing with his renditions of people’s foibles.
Being popular, he had 450 attend his funeral and they came from all over the world, Brazil (for one day) Cape Town, Oz, Dubai, etc. He is missed so much by all who knew him and that is why (see the next answer).
Jack: Luke was a legend, the funniest man alive. Everyone i know will say that Luke has a gift for humour.
You’ve raised an incredible amount so far – how have you gone about getting people to donate?
Jack: Recruiting as many runners as possible and then getting them all at it – primarily Facebook network. Set up an event, embedded the links and then emailed five times with info updates and donation requests.
Have you got any fundraising tips to pass on to other fundraisers on Justgiving?
Rob: Circulate with Facebook and Justgiving to all your network and ask them to send it on too. It’s surprising how many people are affected in some way by depression and are relieved not be alone with it. Many donators are to the so called big causes and it is rare for depression to have such a call.
Jack: Keep hassling people again and again – it’s not often you get the chance to raise so much money, so if it’s someone close to you, you owe it to their memory to maximise the loss to help other people.
How did it feel running the Brighton Half Marathon? What spurred you on?
Rob: The Brighton Half was again Jack’s idea, and he managed to get 40+ runners in our team of ‘Run For Luke’ and ‘Beat Depression’. We had bright orange shirts and a lot of people mentioned us as we ran round. The run itself, while fun, was very hard and my wife Jan and I had not run before. I trained for three months and Jan at the last moment said I have got to run for Luke and she did it! Tough though. I am doing it again but she will not. Luke helped us both to complete. He ran with us.
Jack: I had a bad knee after 3 miles but powered through with Luke at my side to achieve a personal best. Here are a few pics from the day.
Can you tell us more about the next challenges you’re taking on this year?
Rob: Jack is organising ‘Tough Guy’ in July, the O2 ‘Run to the Beat’ half marathon in September and ‘Super Heroes’ run in Brighton in May! With more to come…
Jack: Check out www.welsh3000s.co.uk and www.toughguy.co.uk. And here is a link to a video of my company doing the Tough Guy challenge last year.
What’s been most helpful thing about using Justgiving?
Rob: Justgiving allows people to donate electronically, rather than with cash, and as everyone knows it’s not real money it doesn’t hurt like a £20 note out the skyrocket! Plus people like to show off a bit and give say £50 if their mate’s done £20. And… 28% back from the taxman!! Lovely.
Jack: It’s easy to pass on and easy to collect, no chasing up sponsorship forms, endless phone calls or driving round people’s houses to collect. We would never have raised anywhere near this amount without Justgiving.
Thanks so much Rob and Jack for talking to us, and good luck to all of you with the rest of your 2009 challenges!