A tale of generosity and compassion has taken another turn as a GoFundMe denies freezing campaign aimed at aiding a homeless man in Washington, D.C. The crowdfunding platform has come under scrutiny for freezing over $400,000 raised by a college student for the homeless individual, sparking a debate about the ethics of fundraising for individuals with criminal histories—all of which GoFundMe says is untrue.


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In a statement sent to The Source GoFundMe denies the allegations:

It is not uncommon for someone to create a GoFundMe to help another individual and we continue to be inspired by the generosity and empathy our GoFundMe community shows every day. Donations are safely held by our payment processor partners until the correct beneficiary is added to the fundraiser or a distribution plan is established with the organizer with the approval of the beneficiary. Ensuring that donors’ intentions are honored is our top priority and we continue to work closely with the organizer who set out to help Alonzo get the care he needs.

Sanai Graden, a college student, shared her encounter with Alonzo Douglas Hebron, a homeless man, in a viral TikTok video. Graden’s video depicted her interaction with Hebron outside a Washington, D.C. grocery store, where he approached her and requested assistance in purchasing a cup of tea. After learning about Hebron’s homelessness and diagnosis of prostate cancer, Graden went above and beyond, paying for his medication, securing him a hotel room, and documenting her acts of kindness on social media.

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Inspired by her encounter, Graden initiated a GoFundMe campaign to raise donations for Hebron’s benefit. The campaign quickly gained traction, attracting widespread attention from local news programs and social media platforms. Within days, rumors emerged that the campaign amassed over $402,000 in donations before GoFundMe intervened and paused the fundraising efforts.

The momentum of the campaign came to an abrupt halt when a woman, recognizing Hebron from the news coverage, came forward with allegations of his violent past. The woman reported being attacked by Hebron in 2020, and rumors that GoFundMe froze the campaign in accordance with its Terms of Service, which prohibit fundraising for individuals with histories of violent crimes.

Now, GoFundMe also states: Donations must be used for the intended purpose described on the fundraiser in alignment with GoFundMe Terms of Service. However, should a donor want to submit a claim to request a refund, we will honor it for them. I’ll also share with you a verified fundraiser link started to “pay it forward” to Sanai following her kindness towards Alonzo, which her mom is managing: https://www.gofundme.com/f/pay-it-forward-to-nai

Thoughts? Watch the video below.

@hustlanani

Please help me help him !

♬ original sound – Nai