The crowdfunding campaign to support the victims and family of the deadly bus collision that killed 15 people in Saskatchewan, mostly young members of a junior hockey team, is among the top five largest in GoFundMe’s history.
More than $9 million has poured into the now three-day-old “Funds for Humboldt Broncos” campaign started by Humboldt, Sask. resident Sylvie Kellington. More than 100,000 donors have contributed.
“This one really struck a chord in Canada and around the world,” GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon told CTV News Channel on Tuesday. “It says to me that people really care about each other and want to help out when these situations happen.”
“The fund for the Humboldt Broncos is also one of our fastest growing campaigns in history,” GoFundMe spokesperson Rachel Hollis wrote in an email.
Solomon said GoFundMe has donated $25,000 to the campaign on behalf of the company.
In addition to the fatalities, the heartbreaking crash also left 14 victims with injuries. Twelve people remain in hospital. Four are in critical condition.
Messages of shock and condolence have reverberated around the world with multiple vigils, make-shift hockey stick memorials, and remarks from people including NHL luminaries and U.S. President Donald Trump.
According to the GoFundMe page, the money will go directly to the players and families affected, to help with any expenses they have incurred.
Solomon said GoFundMe will put the campaign’s founder and the Broncos organization in touch with experts who will assist in distributing the funds among victims and their families.
“Especially in situations like this where the amount is so large and unexpected, we really need to figure out how to get the right people to help out the Broncos organization and the organizer,” he said.
The California-based company said the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund holds the all-time record for dollars raised at US$21 million, followed by campaigns to raise money for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting ($11.8 million), the Florida nightclub shooting ($7.8 million), the recent gun attack at a Florida high school ($6.7 million), and the March For Our Lives campaign ($3.5 million) for the same Florida high school gun attack.
In Canada, collective donations to support victims of the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire is now the second-largest event in terms of dollars raised ($1.1 million), followed by the Support Victims of the #QuebecMosque ($400,000), Your Help Can Save Erin’s Life ($388,000), and Greta’s battle against cancer ($324,000).
Solomon said GoFundMe recently eliminated its platform fee, and is now free to use for campaigners.