GoFundMe launched by disabled veteran to fund Trump’s border wall surpasses $20M

Cheryl Sanders
January 12, 2019

The GoFundMe campaign that was raising money to build a wall between the US-Mexico border did not meet its $1 billion goal, which means the platform will begin issuing refunds to donors.

Kolfage's will now attempt to build the wall without going through government channels, and is instead asking people to redirect their donations to a new non-profit organization.

After Kolfage's initial GoFundMe campaign went viral, the decorated veteran's past activities running the Facebook pages Right Wing News, VeteranAF and FreedomDaily came to light.

"When I created this fundraiser, I said if we did not reach our goal we will refund donors", he wrote.

But Kolfage also announced on Friday he was suddenly stepping back from donating the money straight to the USA government - a promise it wasn't exactly clear he could complete - and instead funneling the money to a new nonprofit he started called "We Build the Wall, Inc". You will receive your refund a few weeks after the 90 days expires and GoFundMe will notify you once your refund has processed. I am honoring that commitment today.

GoFundMe is refunding all that money and Kolfage has to start again.

Donors will have to proactively choose to hand over the donation to Kolfage's group.

From the outset, there were doubts over whether donations could be specifically earmarked specifically for a wall as financial gifts for the United States Funds are set aside by Congress for general use and 'budget needs'. Trump has insisted the shutdown will continue as long as the federal budget excludes funding for his $5 billion wall.

At the end of his statement, Kolfage acknowledge the refund. "I personally will not take a penny of compensation from these donations incurred in the furtherance of this mission".

In a statement, GoFundMe cited Kolfage's initial statements on the fundraising page as proof that the initial campaign had failed to achieve its goal. However campaigners are now pledging to build the wall themselves. "We are already taking action on identifying the most densely crossed areas of the border, soliciting affected landowners along the Southern border, and ascertaining the willingness of border landowners to provide no or low-priced easements on their property for wall construction".

According to an update provided by the founder of the page, Brian Kolfage, the government will not be able to accept the contributions. "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".

Under his plan, segments of the wall would be privately constructed through negotiations with landowners along the border.

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