Planet Charity: A Facebook pledge that cost £7,000

Plus: terror police confront bearded charity volunteers and the very useful utility vehicle

Planet Charity: stories strange but true
Planet Charity: stories strange but true

In Australia, the photographer Edwina Robertson was so struck by the drought conditions when she went to photograph a wedding in the remote town of Blackall, Queensland, that she posted one of the pictures on her Facebook page and pledged to donate A$3 to charity for every share of the image.

She had expected, at most, some 500 shares, but by the time the deadline she set had passed, the image had been shared almost 5,000 times. This meant she had to make a donation of about £7,000 to her chosen mental health charity, the Tie Up The Black Dog Committee. One to file in the "seemed like a good idea at the time" folder.

In Sweden, terror police were called after worried locals spotted a group of menacing-looking bearded men waving a black-and-white flag above a remote fortification. But when the cops arrived at Brahehus Castle, they found that the men were in fact members of a hirsute group called the Bearded Villains, which does charity work with the aim of combating injustice, homophobia, racism and oppression, and the only thing they were shooting was photographs.

In the US, hats off to the 13-year-old girl who won a sports utility vehicle worth £45,000 in a charity raffle and immediately donated it back to the charity. Erin Byrnes of Syracuse, New York, won the Chevrolet Tahoe in an auction run by Joseph's House, which provides a safe place for pregnant women. Byrnes had fundraised to buy 60 tickets for the raffle - out of 26,000 sold - and had all along planned to donate the car back to the charity if she won. It's unclear what her father, who drives a Honda Civic, made of the move.

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