Octomom has apparently turned to a new way of providing for her 14 children -- begging. Well, she's not out on the street with a tin cup. But she's doing the modern day equivalent of begging: Asking for money online. Personal funding sites are all the rage now. One of them, Indiegogo, made bullied school monitor Karen Klein very wealthy. Nadya Suleman has chosen a site called GoFundMe. Her money-raising spiel goes like this:
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my page. I am having to move out of my home soon and i'm very close to being able to buy a home for my kids. Your support is appreciated.
The page was created two days ago and has so far raised $105. Something tells me Octomom isn't going to reap the windfall that Karen Klein did.
These personal funding sites can be great in theory. Someone with medical bills can raise money. Or someone trying to make a documentary. Or someone paying for vet bills for an injured animal. Or someone who wants to send a child to camp. It goes on and on. The problem is that there's no real way to tell where the money is going. Just because Octomom says the money will buy a home for her kids doesn't mean that's what she'll do with it. It wasn't that long ago that we heard she was paying $520 for hair treatments.
Also, wasn't her porno to pay for a house? And her stripping gig? And her high interest rate loan gig? Where'd all that money go? After she buys a house, who is going to pay all the bills on it?
But it's not just Octomom using these sites. I once watched an argument break out on a woman's Facebook wall because she had shared a heartbreaking story of a kitten who needed vet care from the rescuer who was trying to raise money for it. One of the sharer's online friends decided to send $200 to the account. He then asked about the kitten, only to be told by the sharer that she didn't know the kitten's rescuer personally and had merely shared the story on her wall.
The guy who donated the money was aghast to find out that he'd just sent $200 to a complete stranger and began demanding that his Facebook friend track down the money. At that point, I stopped following the thread because I could see it was going nowhere good.
If you do come across a fund-raising story that pulls on your heartstrings (and wallet), try and contact the person wanting to raise the money. After all, it doesn't take much to put up a photo of a kitten or a sad-looking kid and then make up a lie. And remember, just because you see a story on a friend's wall, it doesn't mean that friend KNOWS the person who is asking for money. Even GoFundMe writes:
As a rule of thumb, only donate to people you personally know and trust. When in doubt, don't donate and report any suspicious pages or activity to our team.
Better yet, I say stick to well-known charities that help the causes you like. At least then you have some guarantee that the money is going where you want it to go.
As for Octomom (if indeed that page is even hers), I hope she'll take the $105 she has raised so far and put it toward a home and not her hair.
Do you ever donate money to personal funding sites?
Image via GoFundMe.com