More than US$700k donated to bullied New York grandma
NEW YORK, July 22 — A fundraising drive for a bus monitor bullied by middle-school students closed late on Friday with a whopping US$703,873 (RM2.1 million) raised for the New York grandmother.
Donations for 68-year-old Karen Klein (picture) of Greece, New York, broke records for the fundraising website Indiegogo.com after a 10-minute cellphone video of the incident topped 8.3 million views on YouTube.
The clip showed Greece Middle School students harassing and bullying Klein on the school bus until she cried.
The fund, created originally by a Toronto man who wanted to send Klein on vacation after seeing the clip, will go directly to Klein, minus deductions by the company.
She’ll get 93 per cent of the cash, with an additional four per cent to indigogo and the remaining three per cent for credit card processing fees. That’s more than US$654,000 for Klein.
The Klein family could not immediately be reached yesterday.
A representative from indiegogo.com told Reuters last month, when the fund passed US$600,000, that Klein’s fundraiser is the fastest- and largest-grossing fundraiser in the website’s history. Previously, the website’s largest fund raised around US$320,000.
Brian Klein, Karen’s son, has said the support the family has received has been overwhelming, and that the family was grateful for it.
Aside from the money, Southwest Airlines has given Klein a three-night trip to Disneyland in California for her and her eight grandchildren.
Klein, a widow, also has been given a free week-long vacation by the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort in Florida.
The four boys who bullied Klein on June 18 and then posted a video of it on YouTube have been suspended from the school for a year. — Reuters