Go Fund Me page will give back $20 mil­lion

The Mercury News - - News - By The Wash­ing­ton Post

Go Fund Me said Fri­day that it would be re­turn­ing more than $20 mil­lion in do­na­tions meant to help fi­nance the “Trump Wall” be­tween the United States and Mex­ico af­ter the ef­fort fell short of its $1 bil­lion goal. But the cam­paign’s or­ga­nizer said donors can re­di­rect their con­tri­bu­tions to a non­profit that plans to be­gin work on por­tions of its own bor­der wall — with or with­out help from the gov­ern­ment.

The vi­ral cam­paign was launched last month by 37-year-old Brian Kolfage, a triple am­putee who re­ceived a Pur­ple Heart while serv­ing in Iraq. His con­cept was sim­ple: If each of the 63 mil­lion peo­ple who voted for Trump gave $80, they could reach his $5 bil­lion mark. He felt $1 bil­lion would be a good start­ing point, he added. On Fri­day, how­ever, Kolfage up­dated the page to say or­ga­niz­ers had con­cluded that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment wouldn’t be able to ac­cept the do­na­tion, which had grown to more than $20 mil­lion. In­stead, he cre­ated a Florid­abased non­profit named “We Build the Wall Inc.” to take on the con­tri­bu­tions.

“We are bet­ter equipped than our own gov­ern­ment to use the do­nated funds to build an ac­tual wall on the south­ern bor­der,” Kolfage wrote on the page. “Our team strongly be­lieves that we can com­plete our seg­ments of the wall for less than half of the gov­ern­ment’s es­ti­mated costs on a per-mile ba­sis.”

Kolfage said donors have ex­pressed that they still want to see their money go to­ward a wall, how­ever, which he said prompted him to cre­ate the non­profit.

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