In an effort to keep the homeless warm, a man in Massachusetts has chosen to assist them by sending them your rival college’s jackets.
Jin Pan, a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the brains behind a company known as HoboJacket. The site is a “competitive platform where you can donate your rival college’s jackets and shirts to the unfortunate because it’s terribly unfortunate that people actually went to that other college.”
The site is exceedingly simple, log in, pick the school you attended, locate your rival school and fill in the dollar amount you’d like to donate. You can also choose to donate anonymously if you so wish. Pan then takes the donation and uses it to purchase jackets at the assumed cost of $10 per piece.
Most people would think that the gimmicky site would fail right off the bat, but it has facilitated the donation of over 600 jackets to the homeless and needy. The site hails itself as the “politically incorrect but right thing to do.”
Critics have come down so hard on the site that Pan drafted his own HoboJacket Manifesto, where he states:
“This idea originated as a prank. I would joke with friends that if I ever got rich, I would donate tons of Caltech jackets to the unfortunate because it’ll show the true value of a Caltech degree … On a particular telling of this joke, I began thinking, what if I didn’t have to put my own money into these charitable donations? what if we could just crowd source the whole thing?”
Before Pan knew it, he was showing up late to exams from losing track of time while drawing up the database schemes that would eventually become the controversial site. After taking the site live, Pan posted it onto several online communities to promote it. The posts received a backlash from the communities he posted to, where people began accusing the entrepreneur for objectifying the homeless for his own amusement. Pan admitted:
Which I am guilty as charged. Possibly because my Asian parents would incessantly threaten me in my childhood that I would become a hobo, especially each time I got a B+ in elementary school. Possibly because I’m a horrible person and, to quote /r/circlejerk, ‘literally hitler’. Possibly because we don’t have free choice and our consciousnesses are just artifacts arising from a world of strings dancing to the beat of physics.”
No matter how you look at it though, it all boils down to the fact that the man is clothing the homeless. While some had hoped the site would stay up, it was taken down today due to it’s insensitive nature.
Do you think it’s right to use the site to help the homeless even though it is through this politically incorrect way?