A Milwaukee, Wisconsin, attorney’s GoFundMe birthday fundraiser raised more than $25,000 for restaurants that were shut down during the coronavirus crisis.
C.J. Krawczyk started the fundraiser, S.O.S. Milwaukee (Save Our Spots), knowing he could not go out to dinner on his birthday, so he opened an account on GoFundMe at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, the day of his birthday, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.
He had more than $16,000 in donations by 5 p.m. that same day.
“Hey, friends. It’s my birthday today. (The Big 4-6.) So far, things are going very well. My party is canceled, all the restaurants are closed, there is no basketball to be watched or played, and I’m not even supposed to visit my Mom,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
“With my plans (read: life) in tatters, I’m asking you all to make it a little better by giving me a birthday gift,” he added.
The goal of starting the campaign was to make sure restaurants that were neighborhood staples had a safety net in case of tough economic times.
Krawczyk posted another update on Facebook explaining that GoFundMe halted his campaign until he could provide more proof on how the money he intends to raise will be used before reopening it again.
“I am either going to hand them checks (by placing them at a safe distance — at least six feet — for human collection) or provide the money via electronic transfer. I hope to start doing this as soon as the weekend,” he responded.
Other organizations are creating relief campaigns as well for displaced restaurant workers, including the U.S. Bartender’s Guild National Charity Foundation, which set up an emergency assistance program for bartenders and is accepting donations.