5 local GoFundMes more deserving of your money than Folau
THE controversy surrounding Israel Folau's now-defunct GoFundMe page has shone a light on many of the worthy causes using the crowdfunding site.
The star player faced intense criticism for asking strangers to donate to his legal fund as he prepares to fight Rugby Australia for unfair dismissal.
It did not go unnoticed that Folau's campaign was on the website near fundraisers for children with terminal illnesses.
In light of the debate, The Tweed Daily News has put together a list of six local GoFundMe campaigns supporting causes more worthy than Israel Folau's legal bills.
1. Tim Watkins
The mourning Mullumimby community has dug deep into its pockets to donate money to the family of 22-year-old Tim Watkins, who was killed in a hit and run incident over the weekend.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up by Kayla Brooke to help out the Watkins family during this difficult time as they prepare to say farewell to their beloved son and brother.
In less than five hours since the GoFundMe campaign was launched, the community has already raised more than $20,000.
"Yesterday our community lost a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a friend, a larrikin and a smile that would light up a room,” Ms Brooke wrote online.
"We have set this page up for anyone who may like to contribute to the Watkins Family during this devastating time.”
2. Donna Boan
Donna Boan is a Murwillumbah mother of two who suffers from the blood disease myelofibrosis, a serious bone marrow disorder that disrupts your bodys normal production of blood cells.
The result is extensive scarring in the bone marrow which leads to severe anemia, weakness, fatifue and an enlarged spleen.
Donna has since undergone a bone marrow transplant from her sister Sonia, but the disease has taken its toll on the family.
Donna and her husband Kevin have been staying in Brisbane hospital for more than seven months following complications from the transplant.
They are still paying rent in Murwillumbah, with Kevin using all of their savings and superannuation on Donna's healthcare and other expenses.
"I am not one to ask for help but have no other option as now we are in need of some financial help for food for all of us, including the two children,” Mr Boan said.
He said donations would also help with the cost of Donna's medication along with high fuel prices.
The campaign has raised $3310 of an $8000 goal.
3. Marg Olive
Set up by her daughter, Tweed Heads resident Marg Olive's GoFundMe campaign aims to raise $5500 for urgent surgery to retain her eyesight.
"Mum has a very large hole in the back of her left macular and needs surgery as soon as possible in order to retain sight in her eye (the longer she waits, the worse her sight becomes, rapidly leading to blindness),” her daughter Shani wrote.
"There are very few specialists who perform the surgery to fix this issue and they require at least $5,500 up front to get the surgery done immediately (the theatre and anaesthetist fees are only an estimate on her invoice from the clinic).”
"The Olive family would like to thank everyone who's donated, shared, emailed words of kindness and support so far. It's so appreciated and the gratitude we feel cannot even be expressed in words.”
The campaign has raised $2021 of a $5500 goal.
Murwillumbah's Jane Rapinett currently suffers from endometriosis, a chronic condition that has the lining of the uterus grow on other organs which results in constant and severe pain.
Jane has also been diagnosed with a number of co-existing illnesses and hospitalised several times.
Her GoFundMe campaign aims to help her pay for surgery, medication and eventually private health insurance.
"My goal with this surgery and the treatments is to have a fairly normal life with less pain, to be able to work again and finish my studies to become a vet nurse,” Jane said.
She said the funds would also help her afford private health insurance "so that I won't ever have to face these troubles again and to eventually fulfill our dream to add children to our family.”
The campaign has raised $4014 of a $7500 goal.
5. Theo Hayez
The family of missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez are forever grateful for the support the Byron Bay community has given them over the past two weeks, as the search for the 18-year-old continues.
Laurent Hayez, Theo's father who arrived in Australia last week to assist in the search for this son, said he was thankful for the "kindness” he and his family have received.
Shortly after news spread of Theo's disappearance, family friends created a GoFundMe campaign to assist with the search.
The crowdfunding campaign has so far raised more than $70,000.
"Thank you for everyone who has given to the crowdfunding set up by our friends that has allowed me to come to Australia and is supporting us in our search for my son,” Mr Hayez said.
"As soon as we have realised the success of the crowdfunding, Theo's mother and I agreed that any funds that remain when Theo is found will be split between one Belgian and one Australian charity dedicated to finding missing people.”