Just once, ONE SINGLE TIME I would like to read a tragic news story of a death, or accident, or death in an accident and not find out that there is some tasteless GoFundMe campaign out there capitalizing on said death/accident/death by accident. Unfortunately, this is not one of those times.
Candy Arthurs — the grandmother dubbed a “hero” in both her local community of Columbus, OH and nationally — passed away last week from injuries sustained in a June 23 incident in which Arthurs was stabbed by a convicted sex offender from whom she was attempting to protect her grandchildren. The man, one Kristopher T. Amos, has been charged with murder.
See? Tragic. Absolutely horrific, actually. Candy’s daughter Amanda Gibson already had a GoFundMe campaign up for her mom to help with medical bills before the stabbing incident; she has since changed it to reflect the most recent turn of events. As of press time, that campaign has raised over $10k.
The GoFundMe page, titled “Hero Fighting for Her Life,” collected $215 in the first month. But after her death, a flood of donations came in. People in states as far away as Washington, Arkansas and Hawaii wanted to help.
More than 300 people have donated a total of upwards of $10,300. The donations exceeded Gibson’s goal of $10,000 on Sunday, the day before her mother was buried at Springbank Cemetery in Ross County.
“It’s very overwhelming. I’m so grateful,” Gibson said. “We’ve struggled our whole lives, but I’ve never had help like this.”
Now, why are we writing about this amazing woman, her tragic death, and her daughter’s legitimate GoFundMe campaign? Glad you asked! Actually, not glad at all, because you know what’s coming next…
The campaign has since been removed, however someone named Bethany Stevens slapped up a campaign of her own on August 4th, one day after Candy succumbed to her injuries. It appears as though Stevens simply lifted photos and details of Candy’s death directly from local news outlets, and shared no connection whatsoever to the family.
She writes on the GoFundMe page:
Candy Arthurs was killed when she was stabbed while trying to protect her grandchildren from a sex offender.
This hero grandmother died Wednesday after fighting for her life for more than a month since the June 23 attack. She was only 45 years old.
Candy is a hero. Please help support her remaining medical bills and funeral expenses by donated to this account set up in her name.
All remaining funds will be donated to The Joyful Heart Association, whose mission is to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.
It raised $108 of a $25k goal before it was taken down. And yes, we did just so happen to save an archived copy.
A woman who says she is Candy’s daughter’s aunt shared a warning on Facebook not to donate to the fake account.
We have reached out to Zelda and will update if we’re able to get a statement.
If you are interested in donating to the family’s official GoFundMe campaign, you can do so here.
It’s awful that we have to say this but alas, such is the brave new world we live in. Please exercise extra caution in donating to fundraisers put up immediately after any publicized event. This next bit is the worst part, but family members should be advised to keep a close eye out for any fake fundraisers that may pop up in the days and weeks following a tragedy affecting their family.
May Candy’s family find healing in this time. And may anyone who puts up a fake fundraiser — be it for her or anyone else — be infected with a permanent case of stinging crotch ants.