GoFundMe Pages – Digital Begging, because it’s easier than work.

I’m going to start off by saying, not all the campaigns on gofundme are bad.  In fact, many are worthwhile causes from individuals who really do need help for legitimate purposes.   However, more and more there are just plain greedy people running campaigns for things they should be saving on their own.

Look at this list:

http://www.gofundme.com/Weddings-Honeymoons?page=3

The first thing that pops into my head is why doesn’t any “NEED” a wedding.  It’s not life threatening.  It’s not something that you are required to do.  So I delved deeper to find out why people are posting these campaigns and some had truly good reasons, but then I saw one where they wanted others to pay for the costs of their photographer.  Or another where they wanted others to pay for the reception.  And my favorites of them all, they want others to pay for their honeymoons.

Hey I can understand you want that special day and need cash to pay for it.  I really do.   But this is something you have to save your money for and create a budget that is within your means.  Or have your family help out, you know, the traditional way.

Why should the world pay for your wedding?   Why is it so important that you need funding from the general public?  Your not that special princess.

I saw another one for a couple who wanted a down payment on their first home.   Are you kidding me?   GET A JOB!  I yelled at the screen.  Save your money and be responsible.   What has this world come to?

Then the one that positively infuriated me to the point I had to close the window out of fear of throwing my keyboard at my monitor was this one:

Meet Stacy, a student who is deep in debt, who admits that she can’t pay her bills and has creditors calling day and night, and wants to start her career off right.   How does she want to do that?   By begging on GoFundMe for funds to purchase a $2500 camera!

http://www.gofundme.com/nl9jt8

That one got me the most angry.  Why?  I’m a photographer myself.   I work hard, pay my bills, have a mortgage and run my business.    Bills comes first, then comes everything else.    I save for what I want.   Like cameras, trips, lenses, etc.    And here is this girl who is begging for money to buy a new camera.    What’s worse though, is that people are giving her the money.   Oh yes.   She is almost to her goal and I have a bad feeling she will get it.    The tragedy is not only she feels entitled enough to beg for money online but that people are actually giving her the money.

If your a student you go into university or college with student loans.  That means you have debt, that means you have to pay that debt back.    That means GET A FUCKING JOB and pay your bills FIRST.    Just because your going to university for a career that you want, doesn’t mean you will get a big pay cheque at the end and your debt magically goes away.   MOST students know this and get jobs and pay their loans as they go.  Heck, some students get two jobs.   It’s called responsibility and being responsible.   Begging like this girl is doing is the height of greed.  And it’s downright wrong that they’re being rewarded for it and worse, that people are stupid enough to give money to them.

Now like I stated at the beginning, there are legitmate needs for this.  Medical expenses that are not covered by insurance, raising funds for an invention, medical bills for a beloved pet that goes beyond your means.   I’m not saying there isn’t, but when they are being done for weddings, trips or those pricey merchandise items you want, then that crosses that line.    And the people who donate to them have no right at all to put down people on welfare or any social programs that help people who are in real need.

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Sage words…

I was once given advice by someone a long time ago, that still holds true today, and I suspect will hold true until the end of the human race.

“It’s alright, to love your fellow human beings.  Just don’t trust them.”.  

You can love them, treat them with respect but never ever trust them completely if they are strangers.   There are many people in this world who will give you the shirt off their backs when you need it.  And then there is a subgroup who will steal your pants and your wallet as well.

It is a known fact, that most people will trust almost anything that is put in front of them, if of course it doesn’t set off any alarm bells in their heads.    So the trick with fooling people and not setting those alarm bells is to play to their innate sense of goodness and overwhelm the alarm bells that might go off with pure, raw emotion.

I will use the gofundme pages as an example.    It has become common place now to beg strangers for money on the internet.  This started out as an innocent concept, of people looking for funds to get their ideas off the ground, usually innovative inventions.  Then a few years after those pages were up, I started to see something else, people who needed money for medical treatments, to fund vacations for loved ones they couldn’t afford to go see on their own, and some even wanted money to pay for their extravagant weddings.

Now, they are common place.  While gofundme websites started with good intentions, the greed of people prevailed.

Once couple’s page wanted funds to have three weddings around the world.   Why?  Because they lived in two different countries, came from two different backgrounds and wanted to honor both cultures and have their family be able to attend.  So instead of the normal way of having weddings and combining things.   They decided to go to the public and beg for money to fund this.  Airfare, hotels and the costs of each wedding.   The third wedding ceremony by the way was a destination wedding / honeymoon.      Ahh, but it’s love, and who doesn’t want to fund that?

Another case, which is quite famous, is the Cassidy Stay Family “tragedy”.    Now here is one that pulls at the heart strings, a teen aged girl watches her entire family murdered by her Aunt’s crazy boyfriend.   She narrowly survives by pretending to be dead and deflecting a bullet at point blank range with her finger.    The day after that happened a gofundme page went up.  “CASSIDYSTRONG” was the catch phrase.     It pulled at everyone’s heart.  This poor girl, lost her parents and three siblings.  Oh the tragedy!   Who know is with her grandparents.

The funds were to help her for the future!  Oh poor girl.   Except, one problem.   Her dead family were wealthy already.   See this is what people chose to ignore, because it was oh so tragic.

They lived in a million dollar home, which will be sold off and Cassidy gets the money for it.  Each family member was insured, each at least $250,000 -$500,000 per person.    Cassidy being the beneficiary.  That means that little girl gets a payout of at least 2.5 million dollars.   Then she got another half million from the gofundme page.   Plus when her grandparents die, she gets money from them.   Oh the tragedy.   The horror!  Plus then this doesn’t include the “Cassidy Strong” bracelets that were sold and the tshirt sales.

Poor girl.

Then we have that soldier who was shot at the war memorial earlier this year.  A gofundme page quickly went up, but then was taken down just as quickly when people started questioning the morality of it.  Instead they had a bank account set up.   While tragic, the media circus fueled the money machine.   Photos of the crying children, the loyal dog waiting at the fence, the soldier buddy standing guard.   Plagues of photos and stories pulling at the heart.

So what happens:   The family got a life insurance payout.  Plus, the wife gets his pension, and they had a state paid for funeral.   At least count they received half a million in donations from well meaning rubes, i mean people.    Then the royals, pushed their heads in and gave the family an undisclosed sum.   Oh that doesn’t include the sales from bracelets.

Now the family is rich and all off the death of their family member.

ALS challenge.   Oh what a terrible disease!  How horrible!  Affected 1 in 100,000 people! The answer!  Lets pour ice water on our heads and challenge another to do it.  This seemed like a PR Stunt from the beginning, and it was.  Most people jumped on the ALS bandwagon and shouted at people who pointed out a few things.

Those few things are the following:

The ALS Canada company (it is a company), gets over 11 million in funds from the government.   That is more money per person who has the disease, than cancer or aids.

The ALS Canada company has a board of directors, the top members get paid $150,000 and the rest around $80,000.

The board consists of people with back grounds in communications, sales, marketing, etc.  And if you look at the financials, the money that actually goes to research and to pay people to look for cures, is less than 27%.   Over 60% goes to advertising and the rest to pay the board.

Most so called charities work this way.   It is illegal in Canada to be paid a wage if you are running a charity.  The loophole is that, you can be paid if you are doing something charity related, like training volunteers or creating slick PR campaigns.

Really we must question everything before we let our hearts fully take over our brain functions.   We have been given brains and an ability to think.  Think first before you jump on those causes that pull at the heartstrings.   They really are just well designed PR stunts in reality, designed to pull at your wallet.