All Good Things Come To An End: GoFundMe Campaign To Build Trump's Border Wall Surpassed $20 Million...But It'll All Be Refunded

|
|
Posted: Jan 11, 2019 12:50 PM
All Good Things Come To An End: GoFundMe Campaign To Build Trump's Border Wall Surpassed $20 Million...But It'll All Be Refunded

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

[SEE UPDATE]

The government remains shut down. We’re past the 20-day mark, and we’re all still alive. There aren’t dead bodies in the streets. Democrats, the Trump White House, and congressional Republicans remain deadlocked on the border wall funding, and Trump said he would not sign any spending package without it. There is a border crisis. So, why not start a GoFundMe for the wall. Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage started one, with a goal of raising a $1 billion. It’s raised over $20 million in 25 days. Over 300,000 people have contributed to it.  Here’s the description again:

The government has accepted large private donations before, most recently a billionaire donated $7.5 Million  to fund half of the Washington Monument repairs in 2012; this is no different. 

Like a  majority of those American citizens who voted to elect President Donald J Trump, we voted for him to Make America Great Again. President Trump’s main campaign promise was to BUILD THE WALL. And as he’s followed through on just about every promise so far, this wall project needs to be completed still. 

As a veteran who has given so much, 3 limbs, I feel deeply invested to this nation to ensure future generations have everything we have today. Too many Americans have been murdered by illegal aliens and too many illegals are taking advantage of the United States taxpayers with no means of ever contributing to our society.

I have grandparents who immigrated to America legally, they did it the correct way and it's time we uphold our laws, and get this wall BUILT! It’s up to Americans to help out and pitch in to get this project rolling. 

Yet, there have been some disturbing developments about Kolfage, namely that he allegedly pocketed money raised for veterans in other campaigns (via The Hill):

The veteran who set up the GoFundMe fundraiser for President Trump's border wall allegedly pocketed money meant for wounded veterans in the past, according to a new BuzzFeed News investigation. 

Brian Kolfage, a triple amputee and Purple Heart recipient, reportedly previously spearheaded a crowdfunding campaign that raised thousands of dollars for an effort to mentor veterans at military hospitals.

[…]

GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Kolfage in 2015 launched a GoFundMe that raised $16,246 under the premise that the money would go to a veteran mentorship program. Whitorne said the money went directly to Kolfage. 

Kolfage in Facebook posts that have been deleted said that he was working with Walter Reed, Brooke Army Medical Center and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. Representatives for the centers told BuzzFeed News that they don't have record of Kolfage working with veterans at their facilities. 

“We do not have a record of Mr. Kolfage visiting Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in any official capacity after 2012,” Gia Oney, chief of public affairs at Landstuhl, told the online outlet. “We have no record of a donation made in his name to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.”

Make up your own opinion. In this era where the liberal media is gunning for people, and tripping over themselves in the process, this was bound to happen. If not alleged past shady donor campaign, something about Kolfage was going to be weaponized in order to discredit him. You never know; he could be just as bad as Buzzfeed says he is, but it doesn’t shake my position, or that of the GOP base, that we should build a wall and enforce border security. 

***

UPDATE: Well, it was a good run, but the campaign wasn’t successful. Maybe the writing was on the wall; $1 billion is quite the goal, but the amount of money raised in this period of time was pretty solid. Alas, GoFundMe will be refunding all of the money after Kolfage changed the mission campaign; he now says a nonprofit will be established with the funds. GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne said, “If a donor does not want a refund, and they want their donation to go to the new organization, they must proactively elect to redirect their donation to that organization” (via The Hill):

GoFundMe said Friday that it would refund $20 million raised by more than 300,000 donors for President Trump's border wall after an account aiming to raise $1 billion for the wall changed part of its campaign.

Brian Kolfage, the veteran who created the account last month, originally pledged that “every single penny” would be refunded if the original goal had not been met. He updated the page on Friday, saying that the federal government would not be able to accept the $20 million soon.

While Kolfage said money donated to the original campaign would go to the government to fund a border wall, he wrote Friday that he has since formed a nonprofit corporation in Florida named “We Build the Wall, Inc.” to receive the GoFundMe contributions.

[…]

Since the original intent of the campaign’s promise has changed, GoFundMe said in a statement that the more than 337,000 people who donated will receive a refund.

When the campaign was created, the campaign organizer specifically stated on the campaign page, ‘If we don’t reach our goal or come significantly close we will refund every single penny,’ ” GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne told The Hill on Friday. “He also stated on the campaign page, ‘100% of your donations will go to the Trump Wall. If for ANY reason we don't reach our goal we will refund your donation.’ ”

“However, that did not happen. This means all donors will receive a refund,” Whithorne continued. “If a donor does not want a refund, and they want their donation to go to the new organization, they must proactively elect to redirect their donation to that organization. If they do not take that step, they will automatically receive a full refund.”