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An accidental donation turns into much more

Words by Tess Becker

Sometimes we can make a difference without ever meaning to and our actions can have impacts far beyond what we intended, as one Californian man recently found out.

The man, who goes by Michael, wrote on Reddit about how he mistakenly donated over $15,000 to a GoFundMe, to “Urgent Food Relief Needed: Bangladesh.” 

His neighbor approached him about potentially donating and while Michael thought he was donating $150, he accidentally sent $15,041. The charity quickly took notice of the massive donation and sent him thank you images to express their appreciation. 

“Literally hundreds of photos of frail, elderly, disabled, and malnourished individuals holding signs with my name,” Michael said.

“[A] man had sent me a video of himself from Bangladesh, surrounded by dozens of impoverished and hungry people holding bags of food, thanking me BY NAME (Michael) for my generous donation,” he wrote.

By that point, he had already started a refund request with GoFundMe and by the time it was processed he decided to donate $1,500 instead of the original $150, but the story ended up blowing up on Reddit and going viral. 

As a result, the GoFundMe surpassed its goal of $26,108, and at the time of writing it sits at over $53,000. 

“The online community more than covered for me and now I feel so proud of this whole story,” he said. 

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

I Am A Girl NGO. They work to support girls across Barbados. Find out more and support them here

American Forests. A conservation organization focused on preserving and protecting American forests. Support them here.

Cultural Survival. They are an indigenous-led nonprofit focused on empowering indigenous Americans and helping the planet. Find out more.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Zero Hunger.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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