A graphic designer with a young family has a stroke and dies in Brooklyn, age 41. A courageous soldier is killed on foot patrol in Eastern Afghanistan. Their families are bereft, not just emotionally but financially. A science fiction writer is stricken with colon cancer; daily expenses are overwhelming. A father needs a kidney transplant, but the money isn’t there. A child born with cerebral palsy has a chance to walk unaided, if an expensive surgery is performed successfully. Not long ago all the people affected by these and many situations like them had nowhere to turn. They hoped and prayed. Some bought lottery tickets. But in each of the cases above, hundreds and sometimes thousands of people, were able to reach out and help. If they couldn’t bring back the breadwinner they could help a family survive his or her loss. If they couldn’t take the disease away they could bankroll the battle against it. And they did, they gave, through the charitable crowdfunding site called YouCaring.com.
YouCaring.com is, thankfully, not the only place this is happening. But it has a good record of, well, doing good. The site claims it takes no fees on transactions (it is, itself, donor supported) and has “helped fundraisers raise over $19,550,000.” That includes an extraordinary outpouring in honor of the aforementioned soldier, Major Thomas Kennedy, a campaign that itself raised almost half a million dollars. The seven categories for which funds may effectively be raised at YouCaring.com are “medical expenses, memorial/funeral expenses, tuition help, adoption fundraising, mission trips, animal/pet rescue or helping a neighbor in need.”