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Accidental Donation Made Good

An accidental donation of $15,000 has helped a fundraiser to feed the hungry rise beyond all expectations.

A man who’s only given his name as Michael told his story on Reddit last month. He learned that his San Francisco neighbor, a Hindu priest, was running a charity to help support a community in poverty in Bangladesh. Wanting to lend support, he asked his neighbor for the GoFundMe link, and donated $150.

Except he didn’t.

“Moments later,” Michael wrote. “I get a text on my phone warning me of an unusually large transaction on my credit card. … It says I have made a payment of $15,041 to GoFundMe. … How could I have donated FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS? I spend the next 10-15 minutes retracing my steps, and finally I realize my credit card starts with the numbers 4 and 1. It seems I had accidentally started typing my credit card information while my cursor was still in the donation box, and just like that 150 became 15041.”

GoFundMe cooperated to help him refund his accidental donation, but the issue began in the days it took to refund the money. During that time, his “generous” donation, which had almost doubled the earnings of the fundraiser, was visible to all. Before he could clarify things with his neighbor, people from Bangladesh began to contact Michael on Facebook, showering him with thanks for the food and supplies that $15,000 had bought.

“Literally hundreds of photos of frail, elderly, disabled, and malnourished individuals holding signs with my name,” he wrote, with a link to some of the images and videos.

Michael could not afford to donate $15,000, but after seeing the community response, he raised his donation to $1,500. And his relating the story on Reddit brought the GoFundMe to the attention of over 2,800 new donors who have pushed the ongoing GoFundMe to over $120,000, more than eight times what it was before his accidental donation.