People across the country are turning their attention to helping the victims of the Waffle House shooting, and their families.
Thousands of dollars have already been raised through crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe. Multiple pages have been set up to help the victims’ families, as well as the hero of the day, James Shaw Jr.
Sandra Lynn set up one of the accounts to help Shaw, and said it was the least she could do.
“This is just my small way of saying I appreciate what he’s done,” said Lynn. “I feel for him, and I’m proud to know there are people like him in this world.”
In just a couple of days the account had exceeded its goal and raised more than $6,000.
Shaw also started his own account to help the victims’ families. It has raised over $122,000.
“The GoFundMe is mainly set up for the deceased,” said Shaw. “That isn’t to say we won’t help the victims that have medical expenses if they can’t pay for it.”
With so many accounts to choose from, some potential donors are left wondering if all of the pages are real.
A GoFundMe Spokesperson released a statement:
"We are monitoring all campaigns set up to support victims of the shooting in Tennessee and guarantee that the money raised will be transferred to the right person. It’s important to remember that when a campaign is created, funds are collected, held, and then only transferred directly to ultimate beneficiary of the campaign. Additionally, our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors are fully protected and will get refunded. Misuse is very rare on our platform. If a campaign organizer does not deliver funds to the intended recipient, GoFundMe will donate the undelivered amount to the right person."
Donors are still encouraged to proceed with caution when donating online. It is advised people steer clear of pages with minimal information provided.
You can also perform a reverse image search on Google. If you see a ton of results, scammers probably stole the photo to use for their fake campaign. Also, check the campaign organizer’s social media presence. Scammers make fake profile pages right before they make their fake campaigns. Donors can also reach out to the campaign organizer directly with any questions.
Lynn said some people expressed their concerns her page may have been fake. She had to clarify on the main page. She said all of the money raised will go directly to Shaw and she hoped people would continue to donate.
“I am just proud we are stepping up and doing what we can in some little way,” said Lynn.