ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The online fundraising website GoFundMe has helped thousands of people in Albuquerque raise money, but it has also stirred debate over what causes you just shouldn’t ask other people to help you pay for.
The cost of travel, medical procedures or a funeral for a loved one are among the most common reasons people in Albuquerque have turned to GoFundMe to raise money.
Since the site’s launch in 2010, a spokesperson tells KRQE News 13 people, in Albuquerque alone, have created 7,554 campaigns.
“I think it’s a great way for someone to support someone that they love or someone that they don’t even know,” said Lindsey Arnold, an Albuquerque resident.
Campaigns that raised the most money include the one in honor of 4-year-old Lilly Garcia, who was shot and killed in a road rage incident more than two years ago. It raised more than $80,000.
Another one raised nearly $72,000 when a mom pregnant with her fourth daughter was diagnosed with cancer.
“The ones that are really successful are the ones that just tell their story,” said Kristelle Siarza, CEO of Siarza Social Digital.
She said, it’s no surprise it’s so popular in Albuquerque.
“Albuquerque’s really great about fundraising, for anything and everything,” Siarza said.
Some causes, though, have caused controversy. For instance, one couple two years ago saw a backlash after asking for $4,000 for an all-inclusive honeymoon.
Another one is asking for $12 million for Albuquerque Public Schools in the face of budget cuts.
“I’ve also seen people say, ‘Hey, I need to move. I want to move to California, so please give me money to do that.’ I think that’s a little iffy,” said Andrew Salazar. “I feel like some people, where in the past they actually would have had to work toward it, now they just get a pass.”