Earlier this month, the Humboldt Broncos junior ice hockey team crashed into a tractor-trailer, leaving 16 dead and 13 badly injured. In the wake of the tragic accident, a GoFundMe that was set up to help the victims’ families has gone on to raise more than $15 million.
The wildly successful campaign is second only to the TimesUp campaign, which has raised $21 million and is the biggest fundraising event in GoFundMe history.
The original GoFundMe page gave a detailed update on the situation following the accident:
“My name is Sylvie Kellington, and I am a resident of Humboldt, Saskatchewan and have a son that played for the Broncos Bantam A team just this past season. As you know the Humboldt Broncos Junior A team was involved in a serious bus accident where there were 16 fatalities confirmed out of the 29
passengers. Please help us raise money for the players and families affected. Money will go directly to families to help with any expenses incurred.
Myself and the staff of GoFundMe is now in direct contact with the vice president of the Humboldt Broncos, and plans are underway to move money raised. I’ll continue to update you all here as this progresses. Additionally, WestJet is offering help to Broncos hockey family members who need assistance getting to Saskatoon by plane.
Thank you so much to everyone for your generosity and words of love and support.”
Since then, almost 140,000 people from 80 different countries have donated to the Canadian junior hockey team, according to the BBC. So much cash has been flooding in that the team’s board of directors decided to stop the page from receiving donations while they figure out how to fairly dispense the funds.
“Donations are no longer being accepted on this GoFundMe as of Wednesday, April 18th at 11:59PM MST, but the GoFundMe will remain live so we can continue to update everyone on our progress in allocating funds,” an update posted to the page read. “The funds donated through the GoFundMe campaign will be transferred to a newly created non-profit corporation known as ‘Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund Inc.’ to be allocated for their intended purpose.”
The page added: “An advisory committee is being established to make a recommendation for the allocation of these funds, which will be held in trust until that allocation occurs. Once we have formalized the composition of this committee, we will provide you with an update.”
A separate website has been set up to provide people with “updates related to the April 6, 2018 Humboldt Broncos tragedy,” called “Humboldt Strong.”
Authorities investigating the crash have said that more work has to be done on the case before criminal charges can be decided. “It’s too early to comment on any criminal involvement,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police assistant commissioner Curtis Zablocki said at a news conference Thursday, as reported by CBC News.
As the Saskatchewan community continues to recover from the horrific accident, Broncos president Kevin Garinger says that the love shown to his team from people around the globe is something to hang on to.
“If there is any light shining through this dark time, it has come in the form of love for one another,” Garinger said.
“Our families and our entire organization has been blessed to feel this love from people from around the globe,” he added.
“Our priority currently remains focused, as it has since day one, on working to support our Bronco families, especially now as they are celebrating the lives of their loved ones and supporting our players who are struggling to heal.”
(H/T: BBC News)