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The GoFundMe Thing

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Not that long ago, asking for money was a private thing, about which many people were often embarrassed to have gotten to that point. Unless the request was regarding dire circumstances, like a medical condition, layoffs during the recession, or an unexpected death in the family. It was an understandable request in those instances as many of them come out of nowhere and most people aren’t prepared to shell out large sums of money with a moment’s notice. However, these days it seems as though GoFundMe has allowed people to ask for money in a very public forum for anything their heart desires.

Legitimate Reasoning

We have all donated to a GoFundMe request when a parent discovers that their child has a grave illness and they need financial support to make the most advanced treatment happen. Most of us can’t imagine the pain and fear those parents must be feeling in a case such as that one and we’re more than happy to make sure the child gets exactly what they need. The unfortunate status of health care costs in this country is one thing all of us can agree upon and therefore we’re willing to help in any way we can.

This type of GoFundMe is a respectable cause. Planning a loved one’s funeral after a very sudden demise is also a legitimate reason. Funerals are terribly expensive and working through the grief process isn’t easy when you add the stress of financial burdens. The idea of donating to these types of causes make us feel less paralyzed by the fact that we can’t do anything else to help. We can’t ease their pain with casseroles, so we do everything we can to assist in changing their circumstances.

Another case of GoFundMe working to the advantage of human nature is when people use it to set up an adoption fund. For these people, nature has robbed them of the ability to have a child and they’re looking to expand their families. In both domestic and foreign adoption situations, there are incredibly high costs associated with such a pursuit and many of us are happy to provide aid.

I’m Not Buying Your $1100 Shoes

Due to the fact that we’ve become a civilization that believes we are entitled to anything we want, there is also a great deal of ridiculous GoFundMe campaigns that have been set up in the name of charity. Asking for Jordans or Louboutin’s because you can’t afford them is a smack in the face for many people that have big hearts and want to help people. In earlier times, better times, if we didn’t have the money for something we wanted we would save up for that item. We didn’t believe that we deserved it just because other people had it.

Looking back, I think about a pair of $200 boots that I wanted when I was fifteen years old. I HAD to have them and commenced in begging my single mother on a daily basis for weeks. After a particularly long shift in the operating room at our local hospital, she turned to give me a look that told me to stop asking. She told me to save my money and buy them myself. There was a long lecture about the value of hard work and how much more important those shoes would be if I were able to reach my goal on my own. She was right, they were pretty valuable to me, which is why it took me three years to donate them after I figured out that they were torture devices upon wearing them once.

So no, I’m not putting my hard-earned money out there so a person can buy a pair of $1100 shoes that they don’t need simply because they saw a celebrity wearing them. Here’s the thing; earn them! Work for them. You don’t need to have a pair of red-bottomed heels to get the job you want or to make you feel good about yourself, and people shouldn’t have to help with that pursuit.

GoFundMe was set up as a campaign program to raise money for legitimate causes, not to buy $300 jeans because Adam Levine wears them. It also wasn’t set up to pay for your poor choices. If you chose to quit your job because your boss was mean to you, it isn’t other people’s responsibility to cover your mortgage. If your child has been struck down in the prime of their lives by a horrendous disease that costs ridiculous sums of money to treat it is understandable that you may need some help. New shoes are not a necessity.


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