Go Fund A Friend

As Mary pointed out on Monday, it’s been a week of dedicated days, including #GivingTuesday, the charitable season kick-off for holiday and end-of-year giving. The holidays bring out the best in us, but shouldn’t all days be days of thanks and days of giving? This got me thinking about one of my favorite sites to appear on the internet – GoFundMe.

This website has literally changed the lives of thousands of people. It’s an easy-to-use platform where anyone can sign up and make a crowdfunding campaign, asking for donations from folks all over the world. Where websites like Kickstarter exist to crowdfund donations for projects, products, and art, GoFundMe applies the same idea to charitable efforts.

One of the profound things about GoFundMe is that it isn’t limited to organizations. Individuals in need of assistance can turn to GoFundMe, which is what makes it such a popular choice. Rather than approaching a local foundation for aid, anyone can write up their story and ask for help. Medical bills, funeral costs, and housing-related disasters are all common, as are really positive life-changing events, such as mission trips and adoption costs.Friend

If you ever need a pick-me-up, look no further than this list of GoFundMe success stories. Like Alexis Felix, a Boston University student who was facing down the barrel of tuition fees.
A straight-A student, BU administrators informed her she was ‘out of options.’ She had 24 hours to pay her tuition fees, or be dropped from her classes. Upon turning to GoFundMe, Alexis raised the needed $5000 in just 24 hours, and was the first in her family to receive a Bachelor’s Degree.

Or Glen James, a homeless man who returned a found backpack containing $40,000 in cash. Ethan Whittington, another Boston resident, organized a GoFundMe to thank Glen for his honesty, and raised over $147,000 in thanks, changing the man’s life forever.

We all think about retirement, which is why this last GoFundMe story is especially touching. Fidencio Sanchez is a regular sight for anyone in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. Every day he can be seen driving his paleta cart, selling popsicles to kids and adults. Seeing the 89 year old man out there working, friends Joel Macias and Joe Loera thought there had to be a way to give Fidencio a well-earned break. Turning to GoFundMe, the pair started out trying to raise money to give Sanchez a vacation. In the end, they raised over $380,000, giving Fidencio the retirement he never expected.

Go Fund Me

The kindness of strangers brings a smile to my face and I’ll admit – a tear to my eye. Have you ever donated to GoFundMe? Do you have a favorite charity crowdfunding story? I’d love to know.

Give a little this weekend,