A sick pet, hope for a better life, or the trip of a lifetime. Regardless of the goal, thousands each day turn to one place to reach them.
As Fox 29’s Shawnette Wilson shows us, no strings attached can really pay off
It’s the popular social-media-like-website that allows you to present a problem, then ask others to donate to help solve it.
Jamie Holt, a volunteer for Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Team, told us, “I actually found out about it when I started volunteering which was April of 2013.”
“A lot of the volunteers there used that website to raise money for different medical issues with the dogs or if you’re trying to get them out to a rescue,” explained Holt.
So when a pit bull mix showed up at PACCT with a gunshot wound, she felt GoFundMe was the only chance of saving his life.
“Animal Control they have limited funding and everything so they can only do so much for the dogs that are their” says Jamie.
Jamie immediately set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for Elmer’s surgery and adoption.
Jamie added, “You just go on there, and put a description in of what you’re doing the fundraiser for. You can upload pictures. It gives you reminders of when you get donations in your email.”
She even posted Elmer’s X-rays for people to see the bullet lodged in his leg hoping to tug at their hearts and pockets.
The entry read “Help us Help Elmer. This super sweet and affectionate boy was a stray roaming the streets of Philly when he became the victim of a gunshot.”
Soon, the donations poured in.
Sharing it on Facebook too Jamie says, helped her exceed her goal of $2,000.
“Just social media, is just no pressure to donate, it’s totally up to you if you don’t want to donate you can just share it and maybe some of your friends will donate.”
Because they did, Elmer is alive and well.
She explains that without the websites help, “He would have definitely been euthanized if he sat at the shelter, he would have been euthanized.”
Not all of the posts on GoFundMe are serious in nature.
We found people will ask you for help for just about anything, especially since GoFundMe doesn’t charge to post, nor does it require proof that people are asking for money for legitimate causes or using it for what they say they are.
One post was titled “Help Mary buy a new sewing machine” has drawn more than $800 in donations.
Carrie wants help fixing her broken camera. She’s raised nearly, 700 dollars.
And what about the post titled “Fired Fat Girl Travel Fund!”
This woman claims to have lost her job and wants your money to help her travel the world celebrating body size, and has nearly $900 dollars donated to her cause so far!
“I was amazed by how many donations and a first was like wow,” Jamie explained.
18-year-old Sasha Rivera is trying out GoFundMe right now, for a more serious cause.
She’s wheelchair bound with Spina Bifida.
Rivera explains, “I just want to have an addition built so I can have a bedroom and a handicap accessible bathroom on the first floor of my home.”
Her GoFundMe page asks for donations that will help her become more independent.
“Having this extension would not make things much easier for me, but for my parents. I am not a little girl anymore and it’s not easy for my dad to lift me anymore, it causes him to have back pains and he is not getting any younger,” Rivera continued.
Shasha has a chair glide that takes her upstairs but the area is so small that she is confined to her bed.
Her goal to build a handicap accessible room on the first floor is $20,000 dollar. In two months she’s raised almost $1,200.
Sasha explains, “At first it was easy because I was getting a lot of donations, but now its slowing down so it gets discouraging.”
Sasha’s mom believes the exposure GoFundMe gives, will help her one way or another, “I have hope and I have faith, I believe that God is going to just allow someone to hear her story and click on there. My faith is just a bunch of contractors builders will say let’s go and help this little girl.”
She also believes the site’s success is based on the fact that it’s all done online.
“Here there’s not questions asked it doesn’t matter, lets donate to this cause and that’s it,” she explains.