The organizer for an online fundraiser supporting two families affected by a tragic New Year's Day crash that killed three young children on a northern Ontario highway says money raised on the popular crowd-funding platform GoFundMe is not yet being released.
Sudbury area business owner Chantelle Gorham started the GoFundMe campaign dubbed "OSAGIE Chelmsford Family Tragedy Hwy 17 accident" to help the local mother that lost her three children and another boy who was seriously injured as a result of the crash.
The campaign had a goal of $10,000 and has now reached close to $29,000.
Gorham wants the families to have the money now but says GoFundMe isn’t making the process easy.
"If any mothers needed money desperately, it’s one who needed to bury her three children and had expenses above and beyond funeral costs," Gorhma said. "And then, you have another mother who is at SickKids, and will be for approximately two months, with a child who also needs money."
Gorham said the plan is for the families to share the money, 75 per cent to the Osagie family, with the three children who were killed, and 25 per cent to the other family, who was travelling with them when the incident occurred.
"If I want our community to know anything about this, number one: is how grateful we all are, but number two: that if you’re relying on a platform such as GoFundMe for emergency money, it’s not the platform for you, because time is of no issue to them," says Gorham.
GoFundMe issued a statement to CTV News, acknowledging the funds have yet to be released.
“We have a dedicated trust and safety team working around clock to support campaign organizers and protect donors," organization spokesperson Caitlin Stanley said. "We ask that campaign organizers clearly identify who they are, who they are raising funds for, their relationship to the beneficiary and how funds will be spent. It’s not uncommon for us to request additional information to ensure that funds go where intended."
Gorham says she has no doubt that the money will be released at some point but hopes it’s sooner rather than later.