Alleged GoFundMe fraud involving a food bank and the surviving son of a cancer patient has rocked a small community in California, we’ll let The Alpenhorn News explain:
According to a printout of a GoFundMe campaign entitled “Cancer Wreaks More Havoc,” obtained by The Alpenhorn News, Operation Provider was assisting Rim of the World High School student Skyler Allison to “solicit funds” and “help him make the most of his young life.”
Holland Lowe created the GoFundMe campaign on January 24, 2015, according to the printout obtained by The Alpenhorn News. In an April 4, 2016, interview with The Alpenhorn News, Allison confirmed he had not obtained any of the $2,310 that was raised through forty-five contributions made to the campaign.
Beginning in September of 2015, repeated attempts to get GoFundMe page owner Lowe to turn over the funds were dodged or ignored altogether. In March of this year, Allison and a concerned friend escalated the matter to GoFundMe, clearly getting nowhere on their own with Lowe.
It’s fascinating that this young man who has endured so much seems less worried about himself and more worried about both the kind people who donated thinking it would benefit him directly and any future victims Ms. Lowe might cash in on next:
“Basically, my whole thing about this, is like the money, it’s another thing, but is she going to do this to someone else, I couldn’t imagine losing everything and expecting to be helped out and getting pushed down,” Allison voiced explaining, “The way I felt I almost lost it.”
“If there was a way I could say thank you to all those people, because I couldn’t really say anything,” Allison voiced referring to those who donated money to help him, while objecting Lowe would “take from people who have nothing.”
A GiveForward page that appears to have been started by Lowe outlines the young man’s plight. Clearly, she knew how badly he needed the money, making the alleged fraud that much more egregious.
A few days before Christmas a senior in high school watched his Mother die.
This comes a few years after his Dad walked out on his family. Being an only child, with no car, no Mom, a Dad that’s no longer in the picture and an aunt that is mentally disabled, life for Skyler Allison is horrible enough to make us all lose faith.
But Skyler has shouldered on, even after caring for his cancer stricken Mom who had lung cancer until her death. Skyler had never owned a cell phone or a computer to help him with schoolwork. Now, however, he’s on his own. We at Operation Provider, a non-profit Food Bank in the San Bernardino Mountains, Established in 1989, have decided to set up a GoFundMe site to solicit funds to help this young man out. Due to a learning disability and the aforementioned blow to his family, we are hoping your generosity will help him make the most of his young life.
We have all seen the news and the accounts of tons of people funding someone making potato salad, so we thought we could ask you to help this young man make ends meet until the end of the school year when he can find gainful employment to care of his dog and himself. We are in hopes he would be able to pay for his rent, utilities and and living expenses as well for him to purchase a used vehicle for transportation. This young man is very deserving to get a break in life. The high school had done a fundraiser to help with the cremation of his mother. Your help will make a impact on this young mans life letting him know that there are actual people out in this world who care for him! This young man belongs to all of us to lift up and encourage. Human kindness will restore Skyler with his broken heart and fear of falling into the way side! Thank you!
Presumably, Lowe fully intended to help him get on his feet after his mother’s death, and even bragged on Twitter about giving him a microwave and a sofa. At what point did she think “hey, maybe I should just keep this money after all, it’s not like anyone will notice” we wonder?
Well they did notice. On April 4, Allison and a friend went to the local sheriff’s office to report the alleged fraud but were told “it was a civil matter.” Later, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department public information officer told The Alpenhorn News “if funds weren’t dispersed as they were intended, based on the description on the GoFundMe website; it would ‘meet the elements of fraud.'”
Meanwhile, GoFundMe is getting up Lowe’s ass about handing over the cash. “A final notice has been sent to Holland and she has 48 hours to contact Skyler and deliver the funds,” they said via email.
We’ll leave you with this tweet from Holland Lowe’s now-dormant Twitter account.
“your regrets aren’t what you did, but what you didn’t do. So I take every opportunity.”
— Holland Lowe (@hollandlowe) June 4, 2009