Sunday 3/29/2015 ~ The Go Fund Me Debate

    You may be wondering how “Go Fund Me” relates to my blog about weight loss surgery and gastroparesis.  First what is Go Fund Me?  It’s a site where you can basically set up a request for charity, donations for whatever “your cause”.  I don’t pretend to know the origins of how the site came to exist, nor am I interested enough to research it.  In my mind it must have been started with a “good intent” ~ to help people but I honestly don’t know how I feel about it these days.

The relationship with the “themes” of my blog is not a direct one, but as I’m past the chronological timeline of ‘my story’ it’s an area that on my radar so I thought it worth a post.  For me it does have some relationship with the topics of my blog, thin relationships but none~the~less there are some.  First I’ve seen many people using the site to “fund” weight loss surgery for themselves in instances where insurance does not cover it.  Then I’ve also seen (and know first hand) the financial devastation that a debilitating chronic illness can cause, gastroparesis or anything else.  The lost wages and jobs, the health insurance, the lack of income, the ‘fight’ for disability and the medical bills are all financial considerations that can be vehemently impacted by chronic illness.  So by all means there are financial considerations and impacts that go hand in hand with my “main themes”.

    That being said my most common and initial response to the Go Fund Me pages that have come across MY news feed is “Are you freaking KIDDING me?”.  I know I know that’s harsh, but I cannot tell a lie I have a really difficult time with so many of the requests I have seen.  Look it’s hard times, everyone’s in a freaking boat and many boats are taking on water and sinking; it’s been that way for like ten years now hasn’t it?  I understand total financial devastation as well as the next guy, TRUST I know what it feels like to lose everything and rack up over a hundred grand in medical bills.  I get it I really do, it’s hard times out there; but there’s just some things that for the LIFE of me I cannot wrap my head around with regard to this whole shtick.

When the request is a “personal” one made by an individual for their own gain, who do they expect to “fund them”.  I mean in my mind let’s say you are my friend and you got very ill and lost your income and had a ton of medical bills, and if I go set up the site for you to get you some help that’s one thing right?  That’s me knowing you are in a horrible circumstance that maybe others don’t know, and that’s me knowing that you are never going to ask anyone for help; and that’s me trying to help YOU.  When you set up your own request though, who are you trying to reach?  If it’s for your “friends and family” and it’s you asking would it not be more prudent to talk to them individually on a one to one basis? Hey I get that it’s not easy to do, I know because I did it ~ when I was being evicted and had lost everything I had to ask for help.  It wasn’t easy, was one of the hardest things I ever had to do TRUST that it was hard, it made made me physically ill on top of already being physically ill, but hey you do what you have to do.  As humiliating as it was to ask “one on one”, it just seems to me (my opinion only) that it’s the more respectable way to do it.  Furthermore when you ask one on one you find out who really cares if you live in a shelter while your starving to death because you’ve been evicted and your disability won’t “come through” for months ~ learned a whole lot there I did.  I don’t know it just seems unscrupulous to me to cast a “general” and all encompassing ‘wide net’ to associates and strangers alike.  Maybe people are hoping some millionaire philanthropist will see their request and a miracle will happen?  I just cannot wrap my head around what thought process it takes to go that route.  Doesn’t make me right and them wrong, just my opinion.

     So that’s one part, the not understanding how you even set that page up “for yourself”, and that really is just my being unable to comprehend what it takes to get to that point.  The next part is where I get vexed at what I consider to be some of the sheer fraudulence of some of the go fund me’s that I’ve seen.  Let me tell you, that though I may not have money to help you out you very might get my sympathy for your situation.  You will however lose that sympathy in a FLASH once I see your absolute GAUL paraded on social media like a badge of courage.  How is it that you have the brainpower to create a four paragraph essay about “how hard things have been”, listing every crisis in you life for the last 12 months from your hang nails to deaths in your family, yet you lack the common sense to not contradict yourself on that same social media page.

     If you are going to put out a go fund me to pay your bills, buy a car, get surgery, take care of your pet ~ whatever it is ~ and you are going to flood my news feed for days on end posting the link over and over (just in case I missed it the first ten times), then I would SUGGEST that you refrain from posting about all the great things you are spending money on.  It’s unlikely that you were going to get money from me anyways, but NOW you’ve lost my empathy and my respect on top of it.  If you have a page up asking for fifty thousand dollars or more for because things have been so so bad, then I really don’t want to see your recent purchases.

    Flowers from FTD $60, Dinner out $50, Beautiful ring $250, Weekend getaway $500 – Being so oblivious to your own stupidity – PRICELESS.  These are examples of one person who did this exact thing.  They put up page requesting over $50,000 in help because things have been so rough this past year, the list of travesties was well over ten.  This person did post the link to their go fund me page on social media multiple times a day.  The person did also post in between those requests pictures of the gifts they bought one another, things they were spending money on.  At that point I’m thinking “Go Fund YOURSELF” is the website they should be going to!  Granted, I am human and I understand that in the worst of times we still need a little beauty in our lives “a treat” something special, I get that 110% I really do.  This particular case was ridicilous though, they were literally requesting over fifty grand in help while in the same three day period posting about purchases that HAD to total close to a grand.  Granted it’s was only ONE grand out of fifty, but REALLY?  That could have been your first grand towards your 50K goal to save your house, yet you expect my money support and empathy?

In this particular case the list of horrid things that happened were in fact TRUE, and I don’t wish those things on anyone.  I am in fact very sorry for the terrible things that happened to them over the course of that year.  HOWEVER, helping yourself is always a good place to start and I found the audacity of the juxtaposition of those request for money with the flagrant shows of wasting money simply offensive at it’s core.  I was even just annoyed, I was actually upset and at one point wanted to call them and give them a piece of my mind.  I didn’t, I kept it to myself because it’s really not my business; and I would hope their mom and dad would have mentioned to them that this was looking pretty shady.  So at the worst it was annoying to see it and I could certainly unfriend or unfollow with ease but just URRGGHHHH the nerve of some people.

    I am certain there are GOOD and legit causes on the Go Fund Me domain that are more than worthy of the help.  I am certain there are people who are in fact doing everything they can to help themselves, and I wish those people nothing but brighter days ahead and success.  I am just as certain that there are as many like the situation that I described, and I also wish them well (I think it’s bad karma to wish ill on people).  For those people though I do wish that I could grab them the collar and shake the shit out of them and just say “Are you kidding me with this shit?”.

     Alright, rant over ~ just one of those things that irks me to the point of actually being passionate about my distaste for such matters.  What’s your opinion or experience with this kind of thing, I’d be curious to hear other peoples take on the concept, and it’s implementation.  So now I’m off to go set up my “Save the Feet” go fund me page, I need a pedicure before flip flop season is in full bloom; watch your news feeds for the link – lol.  

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