It all started when Jake Villanueva, a 23 year old man from Vancouver, British Columbia made a courageous move. Jake, who suffers from a rare and fatal cancer of the kidneys, shared his life story with the community on Reddit just two weeks ago. On the post, he stated very frankly that he would not be alive to see his 24th birthday, and he wanted to share his story.
His post brought in thousands of responses, and it took him to the front page of Reddit (not an easy feat). It was then that the unexpected happened: One woman, Lindsay Minar, a Redditor who was following his story, opened an account for him on GoFundMe to raise money for a vacation, something that he had hinted he wanted to do in his comments on Reddit.
Her goal was only $2,500 to give to Jake, but the response was both fast and enormous; the project raised $30K in less than two day’s time. (Actually, the amount would have gone much higher if Jake had not asked to have it stopped when he was overwhelmed by one man’s donation of over $7K).
And, that’s not all that was offered to young Jake. He was also given invites to stay in various places around the world. One man even offered to let him drive around his Lamborghini, and several women came forward with dating offers. This just shows what a great community can be found on Reddit and just how powerful crowdfunding can really be.
To see Jake comment on his adventure on Reddit/GoFundMe, check out the video below:
Definitely not something you would ever see on Kickstarter! It just goes to show that when you make crowdfunding simple and accessible, the way they do on GoFundMe (One of our sponsors), people can help one another & collaborate quickly. Not only is GoFundMe one of the Kickstarter alternatives, it helps people when they seriously need it - like when people need money for college, surgeries, retirement, or even moving expenses. That’s when you realize it’s not just “one of those sites like Kickstarter”. It’s a whole new category.
Since Jake received so many donations, the money collected was also able to cover some of his every day expenses and medical bills. This a further reminder that the phenomenon of medical fundraising is becoming a standard way to help people online. If you wanted to raise money for medical expenses, I would certainly consider crowdfunding!
What can we learn from Jake? 1) that people care, and 2) sometimes they use crowdfunding to show it!
We at Daily Crowdsource wish Jake much fun on his tour of the US visiting Reddit users from near and far. It sounds like a blast!
Curious to hear your thoughts on Jake’s adventure in crowdfunding. Comment below!