Virtual Cafe opens to help New Zealand Earthquake victims


The Christchurch cafe is a site where you can buy virtual items you might find in a coffee shop, from a $2 espresso to a $300 espresso machine. This is a creative and interesting way of raising aid donations: 100% of funds raised go directly to the community in Christchurch, New Zealand, which was hit hard by the earthquake last week. I love this idea, and would love to see this kind of thing catch on. It's an inspired way to encourage people to help out financially after a disaster.


  1. Good idea. In addition, a fundraiser site could give each donor their own “profile” page which could display icons or pictures for all of the bought virtual items. This could trigger a “collect-them-all” response in the donors.

  2. The end-use of the donated money is quite unorthodox, although not necessarily bad…

    If you would like to apply for a helping hand, please contact us via email …. We will contact you directly, verify your situation and do our best to help. A grant will be for $200/ Month/ Person for as many people as we are able to reach.

    So basically if you are aware of this website (not a registered charity, afaik), you apply to them, and if they think you are really in need, they will give you $200/month.

    This seems like a very good way to reach an extremely limited number of people. Quite the oposite of Red Cross, for instance, where they try to make sure that each dollar helps as many people as possible, and where they put money towards infastructure (shelters, doctors etc.) that again helps a large number of people.

    Personally, I’d much rather give my money to the latter, rather than (1) trust that this website is all above-board, (2) trust that the few people asking for “grants” are the most needy, (3) trust that this is the most effective way to spend my dollars in a way that will help people.

    1. Espresso with creamed milk poured over it. If you’ve ever seen swirly ‘coffee art’ where there is a design made in the cream on top of a coffee drink, that’s probably a flat white.

  3. Does this mean we can expect a virtual whorehouse for all the sex workers affected by this disaster — enabling us to by tricks we never really get?

  4. Ugh… Y’know, if people want to donate there’s no need to make them feel all douchey about it!

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