GoFundme couple should not be jailed — calm down social trolls (Opinion)
We've all heard about the good Samaritan homeless guy who gave up a rare $20 bill in order to help a young women who had run out of gas. We've also heard about the allegations that the woman and her boyfriend raised more than $400,000 through GoFundMe for the homeless vet and then spent most of the money on themselves.
Couple things. First of all, the only victims here are the people who paid money into a GoFundMe account with no first hand knowledge of the people involved. Just an emotional story about a homeless vet and a 'damsel-in-distress'.
As someone who looks into every charity that I even consider giving money to, I think people really should be a bit more careful with their hard earned dollars. That said, what the couple did, if true, is fraud and they should have to pay back EVERY dollar they spent. But the homeless vet is not a victim. According to reports, his $20 generosity got him a new camper and tens of thousands of dollars. None of which he had before. The return on his gesture was huge and way more than anyone would expect.
If GoFundMe wants to give him the full amount for a PR stunt, then more power to them. But the donors should have the right to have their donation taken back from the accused couple and either donated to the homeless vet OR kept for themselves. But the calls for the heads of these two alleged swindlers isn't helpful to anyone.
Why should our tax dollars be spent on a full prosecution, or worse yet to house and feed these two in a government jail? How about they are forced to have their future wages garnished until they pay back every cent that they took? We need to stop looking for vengeance and start looking for solutions beyond emotion. If you're a donor and they went on vacation with your money, then you have every right to be mad. If you're just trolling social media looking for something to be upset about, then move on, it's not your fight.
And while we're on the discussion, maybe society can do a better job teaching people about money. How many people see a windfall, whether through inheritance, a huge contract at a young age or winning the lottery, only to end up broke? Happens all the time. Seems our society thinks money is the solution to every problem (ask Governor Murphy as he continues to dig deeper into your bank accounts). It's not, responsibility and smart priorities can make money a part of the solution, but for many, money only creates more problems.
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
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