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After Stranger Donates Over $15,000 on Her GoFundMe, Letter Shows Up in Mail

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GoFundMe is a great fundraising resource for those who have sudden and unexpected needs. Many have used it to help raise funds for medical expenses and more.

But it seems the company may have some issues in regards to customer service that need to be addressed.

A positive of the outlet is that it allows anyone to set up a campaign and ask for donations via social media. In a matter of minutes, a user can get a campaign underway.

We’ve seen plenty of stories in which a GoFundMe campaign helped someone tremendously. In its most basic sense, this outlet encourages good Samaritans to reach out and help others in need.

The site proved to be quite helpful to 54-year-old Isata Jalloh, for example. After she lost her job pushing wheelchairs at the Dulles International Airport in Virginia, Jalloh set up a campaign with some help from others.

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“I came from Sierra Leone in 1996 for a better future,” Jalloh’s GoFundMe post reads. “I started work in Dulles Airport in 1998. I have worked there for 20 years.”

The campaign’s description goes on to explain Jalloh’s struggles to provide for her children, and how she was fired from her long term job in May after being accused of asking for tips.

Thankfully, her story touched many and Jalloh was quickly able to raise money to meet her needs. The Washington Post reported that her job was offered to her once again, and some people even sent money and letters via snail mail.

God bless them,” Jalloh told The Washington Post in August. “I really appreciate all that has been done. God Bless them.”



One donation in particular received quite a bit of attention — a donation in the amount of $15,787 dollars to be precise.

The generous amount came from 72-year-old retiree Jim Houck. Houck had been moved by Jalloh’s story and wanted to send her a gift to help.

He’d only meant to send $15 via GoFundMe as his budget was tight. Instead he accidentally sent many times that amount which added up to almost everything he had.

According to The Washington Post, Houck contacted GoFundMe’s “customer happiness team” in order to get the transaction reversed.

Have you had a good experience with GoFundMe?
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It turns out the fundraising site only offers customer service via email, which made it even more difficult for Houck to resolve the situation.

After contacting his bank and emailing Jalloh, Houck was still in a pickle. Since Jalloh doesn’t have a smart phone or easy internet access, she didn’t even know about the emails.

Thanks to some intervention from Theresa Vargas at The Washington Post, Mr. Houck was finally able to communicate with Jalloh.

Vargas wrote that the issue is at last being resolved, and Houck expects to see a refund for a large amount in the mail soon.



Unfortunately, the problem took longer to resolve than it should have.

“This is an extremely rare situation, and if a mistake, big or small, does occur, the donor will usually recognize it quickly and reach out to our Happiness team for assistance,” a spokesperson for the outlet told The Washington Post. “We are working with the donor and the beneficiary to correct this issue and get the donor his money back.”

To date, Jalloh has raised over $48,000 to date through GoFundMe, although that number still appears to include Houck’s $15,787 at the time of publication.

Have you used GoFundMe? Was your experience positive or negative? Hopefully nothing like this happens again, and thankfully it seems both parties involved will end this experience with a positive outcome.

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Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.

Sarah's experience as a successful working stay-at-home mom and business owner has given her the chance to write and research often. She stays up to date on the latest in entertainment and offers her views on celebrity stories based on her wide knowledge of the industry. Her success as a former preschool teacher and licensed daycare provider lend to her know-how on topics relating to parenting and childhood education.

Her thoughts on faith and family issues stem from home life and ministry work. Sarah takes time to attend workshops and classes annually that help her to improve and hone her writing craft. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature program and her writing has been acclaimed by ACFW and ECPA.
Education
Institute of Children's Literature, Art Institute of Phoenix (Advertising), University of California Irvine (Theater), Snow College (Early Childhood Education)
Location
Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith




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