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The first batch of funds, a reported $1 million, has been released by GoFundMe for a fund organized to support Canadian truckers protesting their nation’s vaccine mandates.
The GoFundMe account, which now totals a stunning $7.4 million-plus in donations, was frozen earlier this week by the crowdfunding page.
Co-founders of the fundraiser Tamara Lich and B.J. Dichter announced Thursday that some of the money had been released.
“We have some great news to share with all of you! We have received confirmation that GoFundMe has released our first batch of funds and is initiating our first transfer,” posted Dichter in a GoFundMe update. “We can’t thank you enough for your patience.”
Dichter slammed the media for implying the funds were frozen for nefarious reasons.
“Sadly, the legacy media felt it was necessary to publish news articles implying that GoFundMe had frozen our funds for a variety of outrageous reasons,” the post said, adding, “For our case, because of the overwhelming donations we have received, and we are currently the 8th fastest growing campaign in their history, the constant attempts by activists to flag our campaign as illegitimate exacerbated the already tedious process.”
“The team at GoFundMe have been amazing to work with and we are very appreciative of their support,” the update said.
The Toronto Star reported this week that funds were frozen because GoFundMe “needed to see a plan for where the funds would go,” adding that a spokesperson for the fund said Thursday that “at least some of the funds — $1 million so far — have been released.”
“Our goal is to protect the generosity of donors and ensure that all donations go to those intended,” GoFundMe said in a statement. “As part of our verification process, we require full transparency from the organizer about the flow of funds to ensure there’s a clear plan and donors are informed on how the funds will be spent.”
“GoFundMe said the organizer of the fundraiser has handed over a distribution plan for covering participants’ fuel costs, and that the platform will continue to work with the organizers after everyone has been reimbursed on which charities will receive the remaining funds,” the Star noted.
Below is the full text from organizers on the GoFundMe page:
To our Fellow Canadians, the time for political over reach is over. Our current government is implementing rules and mandates that are destroying the foundation of our businesses, industries and livelihoods. Canadians have been integral to the fabric of humanity in many ways that have shaped the planet.
We are a peaceful country that has helped protect nations across the globe from tyrannical governments who oppressed their people, and now it seems it is happening here. We are taking our fight to the doorsteps of our Federal Government and demanding that they cease all mandates against its people. Small businesses are being destroyed, homes are being destroyed, and people are being mistreated and denied fundamental necessities to survive. It’s our duty as Canadians to put an end to this [sic] mandates. It is imperative that this happens because if we don’t our country will no longer be the country we have come to love. We are doing this for our future Generations and to regain our lives back.
We are asking for Donations to help with the costs of fuel first, and hopefully food and lodgings to help ease the pressures of this arduous task.
It’s a small price to pay for our freedoms. We thank you all for your Donations and know that you are helping reshape this once beautiful country back to the way it was.
In order for your generous donations to flow smoothly, the good people at Go Fund Me will be sending donations directly to our bulk fuel supplier and are working out the details now which means your hard earned money is going to straight to who it was meant for and need not flow through anyone else. Any left over donations will be donated to a credible Veterans organization which will be chosen by the donors.
**Money raised will be dispersed to our Truckers to aid them with the cost of the journey**
**Funds will be spent to help cover the cost of fuel for our Truckers first and foremost, will be used to assist with food if needed and contribute to shelter if needed**