Leah, Gofundme released the hold on my donations on Sept 9th. Here is my responsse to Gofundme upon notification that the hold was lifted:
Thank you for releasing the hold on my Gofundme. I certainly plan to use any donations I get (provided I get enough after which those donations that have not already been returned to donors who gave money on or after Aug 29th), for the health insurance by Oct 8th. I will ask Marissa to update the fundraiser when I get the health insurance — in the event I get enough, in light of the damage that all of this has caused me and my fundraiser.
That said, there are a few things you should be aware of:
In light of the damage that the slanderous and criminally false unsubstantiated fraud claim that was made by person(s) unknown has already caused to my medical fundraiser, I am no longer hopeful that I will get enough after Gofundme’s and WePay’s fees (totaling approx 17% of every donation) to be able to get what I needed (the health insurance plus meet related costs of getting medical care).
The way that poor people are treated when asking for badly needed money in fundraisers compared to the way middle class/rich people get treated for having fundraisers (they get tons of money thrown at their Gofundmes with no questions asked ever!) is why I did not initially consider asking for enough to get health insurance and medical care to save my life in the first place when Marissa first created this fundraiser for me (originally asking for only $5K).
At very best, I had hoped to get enough in order to remain housed with hot water and electricity so I wouldn’t die sick and in pain out on the streets due to my loss of income since getting sick in June. My family history of cancer — my mother, grandfather, uncle and sister ALL died from cancer that wasn’t caught early enough and treated in time — terrifies me and left me without much hope in and of itself.
After the hold that was placed on my account on Aug 28/29, I told everyone on Facebook who was sharing my fundraiser to stop sharing it. I also told people to NOT donate to it because I lost hope that I would live long enough to get enough donations to meet the costs of the health insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays, upfront costs plus all the other costs related to getting medical care (keeping the electric and water on while recuperating) and recovery.
Furthermore, I had already sent out messages on social media the other day telling anyone who donated in good faith that I’d get helped on or after Aug 29th to ask Gofundme for their money back since I wasn’t getting it and lost hope that I would get it even after submitting the evidence you requested almost a week ago (since poor women are hated and never believed about anything no matter how much proof we provide to those with privilege who always demand that we prove ourselves).
Do you have any idea of what it means to suffer a lifetime of despair, discrimination, poverty, marginalization, abuse, and what it means to truly have no hope due to being discarded and trafficked as a homeless youth, and get nothing but discriminated against totally socially neglected ever since escaping that hell?
Not having any hope in the first place after having had such a totally shitty life as a poor marginalized woman — who was a human trafficking survivor decades before there ever was any “official” anti-trafficking ‘movement’ — is why I was extremely reticent to follow Leah’s advice on asking Marissa to increase the fundraiser amount from $5K to $20K and change the purpose of dying w/ a roof over my head to the purpose getting health insurance and medical care in time — before it’s too late (if it’s not already).
The financial loss and other damage to me that the slander and criminally false allegation of fraud made with NO proof — for no reason other than malice and gratuitous cruelty — has already caused is immeasurable.
From what I have found after researching Gofundme customer complaints since this happened to me, is that other poor people (and ONLY poor people) who are the intended beneficiaries of Gofundme fundraisers have also experienced similar attacks and account holds — due to what can only be described as deeply entrenched classism: a callous, vicious hatred for poor people who really need money and support the most.
The message that all of this sends is “if you’re poor with a compelling urgent need and really truly need money, don’t set up a Gofundme account or let anyone else set up a Gofundme fundraiser for you.”
(“Poor people lose. Poor people always lose.” ~ quote by Steven Avery (subject of the Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer”)
I hope that you/Gofundme implements better policies in the future to protect fundraiser beneficiaries — your company’s customers, from whom the fees that are taken from donations pay for Gofundme employees’ and contractors’ salaries.
Better policies are needed for protecting fundraiser beneficiaries from damage and loss due to slanderous attacks against their fundraisers, and criminally malicious accusations of fraud/misrepresentation made anonymouosly and without proof by vindictive and cruel people who deliberately stand on their privileges to intentionally crush and destroy poor, oppressed marginalized people who never got a chance in life in the first place.