Oklahomans Join The Social Giving Movement Through Go Fund Me
EDMOND, Oklahoma - It seems everything we do in life has a price tag and these days, it seems more and more people are looking to others to help pay for it --.whether it's a pair of Thunder tickets or a life-saving medical treatment.
It's been dubbed the "Social Giving" movement and one company leads the way to donate -- with just a few clicks. Some Oklahomans are jumping on board.
"He was the nicest guy anybody could ever meet," said Nick Mancini about his friend Keith Kern.
Mancini said Kern is a giving person. So, now in his time of need, he feels it's only natural to give back.
"Our first thought was to try and get a hold of his family and find out what their immediate needs were," Mancini said.
Over the summer, Kern suffered critical injuries in a motorcycle accident.
"He promised his parents that anytime he would take his bike out he would always be wearing his helmet but this particular time he wasn't," he said.
Kern spent weeks in a coma. While he was slowly recovering, his friends knew it would be a long and tough road ahead for him.
"Everybody wanted to help him but there's only so much you can do," said Aaron Worley, Kern's friend.
So Worley went online and found Go Fund Me online.
"The Go Fund Me was just a God send," Worley said. "I had it set up in 15 minutes and had donations within the first day."
Go Fund Me is an online personal fundraising site for people to raise money for personal causes and life-events. Based in California, Go Fund Me launched in 2010 and since then, millions of users have raised more than $400 million dollars for their personal causes. In fact, 6,000 new campaigns are added each day. Like with Kern's friends, the number one reason is for medical purposes.
"It a really quick simple way for people to get involved," Mancini said.
While most of the funds come from friends and family, some causes pull at the heartstrings of complete strangers.
"She's definitely more than a dog to me," said Austin Douglas, a soldier who used Go Fund Me.
Earlier this year, News 9 did a story about Douglas, a soldier who wanted to raise money to fly his dog Willow home from North Carolina. He only needed $700 but raised more than $7,000 in just a few days. Turns out the dog stayed in North Carolina with a friend.
Douglas did the right thing and offered refunds to those who gave. But what about those who don't, or worse make up a cause to scam people out of their money?
Kelsea Little, with Go Fund Me, told News 9 via email that fraudulent campaigns are infrequent, but if they do find one, the company has the power to remove it and ban the user. Little's number one advice: only give to people you know, which allows those campaigns that are legitimate, like Kern's, to be a life-changer.
"People have been jumping on there and just giving what they can and we're just giving his family the money," said Mancini.
Go Fund Me charges a 5% fee on each donation. As for Kern, he continues his recovery, making improvement every day.