Is This a Great Charity Stunt or Not?

Today someone on Reddit shared this “kickass campaign” set up by UK homeless charity The Passage, which provides overnight lodging for those who would otherwise sleep on the street. The campaign appears to be about a year old, but it’s new to us—and we’re not quite sure what to make of it.

It includes several variations on the key message, which is always good. It’s staged in the most public place possible, so it’s hard to avoid on both a visual and emotional level. Most importantly, it displays a different side of the charity equation: rather than showcasing the plight of homeless individuals, it presents transit riders with people like them and explains their motivations for donating and collecting.

A couple more shots after the jump:

It’s a great way to make the point.

At the same time, we are jaded cityfolk, so we’re not sure whether we would really notice these volunteers or the name of the organization itself, which isn’t displayed prominently. They could get a great response, or it could be like the time star violinist Joshua Bell played for the D.C. metro crowd and no one paid attention.

What do we think about campaigns like this one? Would they work on, say, the New York subway system?