UPDATE, 5/16/20: Choice42 updated supporters on Facebook yesterday, stating that at long last, GoFundMe has released the monies raised for moms in need. The group wrote, “The GoFundMe money has been released to us! Thank you to everyone who helped us make some noise about this. Thank you to Igor from GoFundMe for helping us resolve this. We will be running all future campaigns through our website.” The group also noted in a comment to the post that GoFundMe “said they were backed up because of COVID… once we made a big stink about it, they contacted us right away. Could be an honest mistake, or maybe not. Either way it took almost a month for us to get these funds.”
5/13/20: On May 11, Choice42 founder Laura Klassen announced that GoFundMe is withholding a large sum of money that her organization raised for mothers in need. According to Faithwire, the organization’s account was flagged by GoFundMe’s Trust and Security Team on April 17 with the explanation that “the intended recipient for our campaign’s donations was located in a country that is not supported by their payment processors,” explained Klassen.
Over $2,700 raised by Choice42’s supporters was intended to aid three mothers in the United States, Canada, and Zimbabwe for expenses related to hospital deliveries, groceries, living expenses, and more. Klassen corresponded via email with a GoFundMe representative in an attempt to unlock the funds.
“They wanted to know our action plan for getting the money to this woman [in Zimbabwe], which we promptly sent,” she said. “We went back and forth with them for about a week, and then we were told that the money was unlocked. It was not.” A lull in communication from GoFundMe followed, which lasted from April 28 to May 12. Klassen remarked that it was only after she posted publicly on Facebook about the issue that she finally received an email from a GoFundMe employee.
Klassen shared GoFundMe’s email response with Faithwire:
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, Elizabeth. We are experiencing a very high volume of requests due to the COVID-19 crisis. I wish I had a way to call you, but we handle all of our support via email. Please know that a lack of phone support is not an indication of a lack of caring on our end. We just want to make sure that they’re keeping track of our conversations, account details, and other specifics that would be lost in a phone conversation.
The funds have still not been received and Choice42 is waiting for more minor details to be worked out.
According to Klassen, this issue has never arisen in the group’s previous fundraising efforts through GoFundMe. Choice42’s mission statement explains that the group’s main goals are “to create awareness about the humanity of pre-born children, and to provide support to women who are facing unplanned pregnancy or dealing with post-abortion problems.” They accomplish this by connecting women facing unplanned pregnancies and post-abortion trauma to free and local resources as well as through individual fundraising campaigns. Choice42 is also well-known for its viral pro-life videos conveying the true motives of the abortion industry through satire. To learn more about Choice42’s operations and campaigns, click here.
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