Sunday, January 24, 2016

"Inappropriate" GoFundMe campaigns...

This morning, I woke up and checked Facebook like I always do.  One of my friends posted a GoFundMe campaign for a friend of her daughter's who is fighting for his life after being exposed to flesh eating bacteria.  The guy has kids and the hospital expenses are making it difficult to keep the household running.  I can see having a GoFundMe campaign for something like that.  Medical care in the United States is ridiculously expensive.

But then, as I was about to navigate away from the campaign, I noticed a picture of a woman with a large tattoo on her forehead.  I clicked on the link and read about Tabitha West and her pleas for financial help.  She has decided she no longer wants that tattoo, so she started a GoFundMe campaign to raise the money to get rid of it.  He initial goal was modest enough.  She just wanted $800.  At this writing, she is at $1045, which means that her campaign was successful.  Of course, a lot of people don't think her campaign was appropriate and they're leaving nasty comments for her.

Was Tabitha's campaign appropriate?  Well... she claims that she's trying to get a job.  The tattoo is getting in the way of that.  Someone else claiming to be her brother is saying that she has a mental handicap and doesn't know any better.  I suppose I could argue that at least Tabitha's goal was reasonable and it's true that the big tattoo on her head is not going to help her find meaningful employment.  Job hunting is tough enough as it is.

When I first saw Tabitha's campaign, I thought it was totally inappropriate.  But then I thought about it and realized that having that kind of a tattoo on one's face can be a major hinderance to a person's life.  People make dumb mistakes.  The one Tabitha made is pretty damn dumb...  but there is a backstory as to why she did this.  Another friend supplied me with a link to the story.  Apparently, Tabitha is not the only one who has 420 tattooed on her forehead.  She is one in a group of people who got addicted to bath salts that were being sold at a head shop called 420 Emporium in Fulton, New York.

The owner of the head shop offered $40 worth of free product to people who had this tattoo put on their foreheads.  A number of people took the offer.  While one can argue that Tabitha West and others were in the wrong for abusing bath salts, it also sounds like the owner of the head shop took advantage of addicted clients.  I have no idea what compels people to abuse bath salts, but I can only guess that they must offer a hell of a high.

Tabitha also has a Facebook page that is getting a lot of attention right now.   One person wrote that she hoped Tabitha would use the money she's raised to lose the tattoo.  Another person indicated that she's tried to raise money before and didn't use the money to have the tattoo removed.

I don't know how much tattoo removal costs, but I would think it would cost a lot more than $800.  Tabitha also writes that someone on the GoFundMe page offered to pay for the whole thing.  If that's the case, I wonder why she still has the page open.  Anyway, though I sometimes give to crowdfunding causes, I don't plan to donate to this campaign.  Tabitha has more than raised the cash she claims she needs...  I just think crowdfunding is interesting.  You never know who's going to have a successful campaign.  The comments are pretty interesting too, especially on so-called "inappropriate" campaigns.  I could probably spend the day getting caught up in the drama of it all.

Mr. Bill has left... and I'm giving some thought to going back to bed so I can finish reading the crappy book I've been working on over the past few days.

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