I got a bit distracted from doing today's post, largely on account of my buddy Andrea's acquisition of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and our mutual desire to see what wonders it contained. But upon perusing my Twitter feed, I saw a message from Linkara, asking for support for a fan of his. I quite like Linkara; more than once I've thought that if I had a little brother, I'd kind of want one like him. This is a good example of why.
So I clicked on his link. It took me to Give Forward, which is a charity website designed for helping those in need of medical treatments or otherwise in a financial crisis. I was curious about this, so I investigated a little farther, and here's what I learned.
What you do is establish a fund for your loved one. Describe the situation, explain what you've done to solve the problem so far, upload photos, and tell the world how much money is needed. Set a deadline by which the money needs to be raised. Then spread the word, providing the link to that page, and urge your friends and family members to do the same. (The loved one doesn't have to be human, either - many have used the site to raise funds for medical treatments for their beloved pets.)
On your Give Forward page, people have the option of contributing to your fund. They can use a credit or debit card; if you want to make it even easier for them to give, set up a PayPal account and make that an option as well. (This also makes it easier for you to receive the money - if you have a PayPal account connected to your fund, the money will be sent directly to it; otherwise, you have to wait for a check to be mailed.) Once your end date passes, the Give Forward website will take a 7% service fee off of what you raise, to cover processing charges, and give you the rest.
Does it really work? By the looks of this page, yes it does. According to the site stats, they have raised more than $8 million for medical treatments and other needs thus far. If you're having misgivings, I hope it helps to know that they have an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau, and the only reason for the minus is the fact that they were just started in the past year. They also received a good write-up from Good.is, a website dedicated to this sort of thing.
As for that guy whose situation brought the site to my attention in the first place? His name is Nate. He's 28 years old, and he has very aggressive cancer. He needs surgery to remove masses from his lungs, but can't get it on his own; the medical center has informed him that he's received the maximum amount of care he can get through their charity program. He needs $60,000; at the time of this writing, he's just shy of $10,000.
Can you help save Nate? Any amount would be gratefully accepted. Read his story here...and thanks.