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When her 5-year-old broke his leg, this mom raised $0. It's actually inspiring.

Her crowdfunding alternative is so obvious, it's shocking America hasn't taken advantage of it.


Freddie Teer is a normal boy. He loves Legos, skateboarding, and horsing around with his older brother Ollie. But in March 2017, his mother faced every parent's worst nightmare.

Photo via iStock.

Freddie was doing tricks down the stairs of his front porch when he fell off his bike — and his bike fell on him.

"[He was] just crying, wouldn't let us touch his leg, couldn't put any weight on his leg. We knew," mom Ashley says.

Ashley rushed Freddie to the emergency room, where an X-ray confirmed the bones in his left shin were broken in half. He needed to be sedated, his bones set and put in a cast. It was an agonizing day for the Teers. But it's what happened next that was truly inspiring.


We've all seen heartwarming stories of communities coming together to raise money online to help people cover medical care for themselves and loved ones.

There was the Kentucky mom with stage 4 cancer whose family collected over $1 million. The New Orleans police officer whose unit banked thousands for her chemotherapy. The Colorado man who lost his legs and whose friends crowdfunded his recovery.

While Freddie's injury required major treatment, none of Ashley's friends raised any money for him.

No one from their town took up a collection or held a bake sale.

No GoFundMe page was started to help cover his bills.

Instead, Ashley and Freddie walked out of the hospital owing nothing. Because they live in Canada.

"You just leave," Ashley says. "You don't pay anything."

Incredible.

Under Canada's health care system, people like the Teers can see their doctors and go to the hospital when they're hurt or sick, and they don't get charged.

So heartwarming.

It almost wasn't this way.

Ashley was born and raised in St. Louis in the U.S. where health care is expensive and complicated. Twelve years ago, she fell in love with a Canadian man and moved with him to Abbotsford, British Columbia, where they and their five children will enjoy heavily subsidized, affordable health care coverage at a low premium for the remainder of their natural lives.

"We're able to go when we need help and we get help," Ashley says.

Just amazing.

As Freddie recovered, no one showed up at the Teer home with a large check or collection plate full of cash.

Instead, Ashley and her family were "supported through meals and just that kind of care" — meals they were able to enjoy without having to decide between enduring the shame of hitting up their friends for money or facing the prospect of sliding into bankruptcy.

Freddie (right) and his brother Ollie. Photo by Ashley Teer.

The most uplifting part? Middle-income Canadians like the Teers pay taxes at roughly the same rates as Americans and still get their bones fixed for free at hospitals.

Not everything about Freddie's recovery process was smooth.

The first night, Freddie tossed and turned in severe pain, unable to sleep. Ashley, however, was able to call her family doctor — who she never has to pay since he is compensated by a public system that continues to have overwhelming public support to this day — to get her son a codeine prescription. Miraculous!

Canada's public health care plan doesn't cover drugs. But, inspiringly, because of price controls, medicine is way cheaper there.

The Teers did lean on their friends and family for help while Freddie got better.

"We were kind of just asking people to pray," she explains — primarily to lift her son's spirits, and not, thankfully, to ask God to provide sufficient funds to cover basic medical care that every human living in a fair and prosperous society should have access to.

Even though he wasn't able to move around, friends and relatives eagerly invited Freddie to hang out during his recovery instead avoiding him out of guilt for not pledging enough to his GoFundMe campaign.

Just. Wow.

With support from his community — support that didn't include a single dollar — Freddie's cast came off six weeks later, right on schedule.

Healthy once more, Freddie went right back to enjoying extreme sports like BMX biking, skateboarding, and snowboarding, and Ashley is free to let him enjoy them without worrying about one fall wiping out their entire life savings and leaving her family destitute.

"Where we live, we're not stressful when things happen to our kids," Ashley says. "It's not a stressful time financially, so the whole family is not anxious."

It's peace of mind that she — and the residents of virtually every other rational, wealthy, industrialized country in the world — share.

"I feel safe, and I feel like my voice is heard," she says. "I can't imagine living in a place that I didn't feel that way."

Inspiring.


This article originally appeared on 03.27.17


Joy

8-year-old raises $100,000 after finding out his favorite Waffle House server lived in a motel

Living in a hotel with his family has been the safer option for the health of his daughters.

Boy raises $100,000 for Waffle House server who lived in a motel.

Everyone has their favorite place to eat, and if you visit enough, you get to know the regular servers and sometimes even form a bit of a friendship with them. When 8-year-old Kayzen Hunter started going to a local Waffle House in Arkansas with his parents and sometimes grandpa, he became familiar with his server, Devonte Gardner. Actually, Gardner became Kayzen's favorite server, giving him high fives and letting Kayzen tell him jokes.

The relationship between Gardner and Kayzen's family continued to develop, which led to the little boy noticing Gardner was often dropped off for work because he didn't have a car. Eventually, the Hunter family found out Gardner had a wife and two daughters who were living in a hotel because of issues in their previous home.

“We wanted to find something affordable, so we moved into a low-income area," Gardner told Today.com "We just got tired of infestations with rats and roaches and all this black mold. My daughters were getting sick. No heat and things like that. When it was cold outside, we had to bundle up with like four or five blankets in order to stay warm."



Garner had been living in a hotel with his wife and two daughters, who are 2 and 3 years old, for the past eight months. I'm sure most people have spent a night or two in a hotel, and unless it's a penthouse suite, the space is crowded with more than two people in a room. It serves the purpose for a vacation, but living in a standard hotel room would likely begin to take a toll on your mental health as well as your finances. But when your options are limited, it's an understandable best option.

Of course, after learning this information about his Waffle House best bud, Kayzen wanted to do something to help. That's when he came up with the idea to start a GoFundMe to help Gardner get a car to help him get back and forth to work. Kayzen's mom took a bit of convincing to get on board, but since 8-year-olds can't open an account on their own, his mom had to sign off.

Originally, the goal for the fundraiser was set at $500 to help Gardner get back and forth to work, but as it started to gain more traction, it blew past the original goal and continued to climb. People were moved by the GoFundMe page written by Kayzen and his mom.

“Devonte is one of the most joyous and positive people you’ve ever met!! He always greets us with the biggest smile,” Kayzen wrote on the GoFundMe. “I hope your heart is as BIG as mine and you will help me spread kindness in the world. Any amount helps!!”

Gardner has big plans for the money raised by Kayzen, but his first step is moving into a brand new apartment. The father of two told Today.com that he recently signed the lease on a two-bedroom apartment. As for the rest of the money? Well, the donations keep pouring in. It's currently up to $108,000, and Garner isn't planning on spending it frivolously.

“I’m gonna save the rest because I want to put my daughters in a good school, I want them to be in a good environment,” Gardner explained to Today.com. “Everything I’m getting is going mostly towards my daughters to make sure they have a great, great life. Make sure we won’t have to struggle anymore.”

And yes, he still works at Waffle House and greets Kayzen and his family just like always, high five and all.

Mr. James had to come out of retirement to pay his rent, and some students weren't having it.

Over the past few years, the outlandish increase in the cost of living for the average American has been hard on just about everyone. Prices on consumer goods have been through the roof as inflation reached its highest level in 40 years in June of 2022.

Rent has been going up for the average American as well. From 2017 to 2022, the average year-over-year increase was 5.77%, with the most significant increase of an average of 14% occurring from 2021 to 2022.

Almost every American feels the pain of the increased living expenses, but it has to be especially hard on those living on a fixed income. Fox 4 News reports that when an 80-year-old retired man affectionately known as “Mr. James” saw his rent go up by $400, he had to work again to make ends meet. Callisburg High School in Texas hired Mr. James as a janitor, and the sight of seeing a man that old lifting garbage cans and scrubbing lunch tables didn’t sit right with some of the students.


“It’s just so sad seeing an 80-year-old man having to do things an 80-year-old shouldn’t have to do,” Callisburg senior Banner Tidwell said, according to KXII.

A few of the school's students decided to do something about Mr. James' situation and started a GoFundMe campaign called “Getting Mr. James out of this school” to raise some money for him so he could resume his retirement. The teens started with a goal of $10,000 that was quickly surpassed after Greyson Thurman, a Callisburg student, promoted it with a TikTok video that went viral.

Just 8 days after the GoFundMe campaign started, it has already raised $225,000 for Mr. James. "He doesn't want any part of the spotlight. He's appreciative of what these students have done," the school's principal, Jason Hooper, told Fox 4 Dallas-Fort Worth.


@grey.thurman

Go fund me is in the bio! My classmates and I hate seeing Mr. James here, no one his age should have to be cleaning our messes up to continue to live. #fyp#school#gofundme#fy#mrjames

“It’s crazy to see something that we knew people would have wanted to help. But we didn’t know it would blow up,” senior Marti Yousko, one of the campaign’s organizers, told KXII, "When we told him, he was kind of like, 'dang, that's alright!'" Yousko continued.

“It's just amazing,” Hooper told KXII. ”You know of the need that was met because of three kind kids, but of all of our students who have pitched in to help that need.”

gofundme, mr james, senior citizens

The students who organized the campaign and Mr. James.

via GoFundMe

Incredibly, these students had the heart to realize Mr. James' struggles and stepped up and do something about the situation. This is one of those stories that is both heartwarming and sad. It’s beautiful that the kids, the community and people around the world are helping Mr. James, but it’s terrible that an 80-year-old man would have to resort to going back to work in the first place. Especially in a country with so much wealth.

Fox 4 News reached out to the Callisburg Independent School District to see if Mr. James is still working at the school, and he hasn’t said anything about leaving his job just yet.

"Nobody deserves to work their whole life. They deserve to enjoy everything," Thurman said.






Photo by Jeremy Wong on Unsplash

Teen raises $186,000 to help Walmart worker retire.

In America, many people have to work well past the age of retirement to make ends meet. While some of these people choose to work past retirement age because it keeps them active, some older people, like Nola Carpenter, 81, work out of necessity.

Carpenter has been working at Walmart for 20 years, way beyond most people's retirement age just so that she can afford to continue to pay her mortgage. When 19-year-old Devan Bonagura saw the woman looking tired in the break room of the store, he posted a video to his TikTok of Carpenter with a text overlay that said, "Life shouldn't b this hard..." complete with a sad face emoji.

In the video, Carpenter is sitting at a small table looking down and appearing to be exhausted. The caption of the video reads ":/ I feel bad." Turns out, a lot of other people did too, and encouraged the teen to start a GoFundMe, which has since completed.


The retirement age in the United States in order to collect Social Security benefits is 66, or 67 if you were born in or after 1960. But early retirement starts at 62 for reduced benefits. How many years you worked is a deciding factor in how much financial benefit you will receive from Social Security, with the average amount expected to be $1,827 a month in January 2023.

@dbon973_

WE LOVE YOU NOLA I HOPE THIS HELPS❤️🙏 #blowthisup #fyp #gofundme #nola #walmart #viralvideo

While that amount of money is nothing to scoff at, it's also not enough to live off of alone, especially for those who fall below the average amount. You also have to factor in Medicare premiums and tax withholdings that must come out of that figure. So it's no wonder that people over the age of 67 have to continue to work if they don't have adequate savings put away to retire on. The cost of living increases impact all age groups, including the elderly.

Thankfully for this elderly Walmart worker, the GoFundMe quickly exploded and raised $110,000 in just 24 hours. But when Bonagura went to give the money to Carpenter, she was grateful for the help but explained she would still need to work until the other $60,000 of her mortgage was paid off. This prompted users to give more to secure Carpenter's retirement.

In the end, the GoFundMe raised $186,000, which was enough to pay off the mortgage on the woman's house. Retirement is now on the horizon for the grandmother, who says she's set to retire on the first of the year. She wants to make sure she helps her co-workers get through the holiday season before hanging up her vest for good.

@dbon973_

Update video with Nola ❤️ #nola #dbon #gofundme #viral #blowthisup #love #kindness #givingback

As for Bonagura, he's currently suspended with pay due to him filming at the store and posting it to TikTok. While he wasn't an employee of Walmart, he worked for a cellphone carrier that operated sales inside the store. Nevertheless, Bonagura feels he did the right thing and is focused solely on making sure Carpenter gets to retire.

It's amazing what people can accomplish when they work together. Happy retirement, Nola! Here's to hoping you enjoy every minute of it.