Just four days after a bus crash killed 15 people, including 10 young hockey players, last week in Canada’s Saskatchewan province, a crowdfunding campaign for the victims is already making history
A GoFundMe campaign for the affected team, the Humboldt Broncos, has raised almost $5.8 million ($7.3 million in Canadian dollars). That’s enough to rank it among the five most successful campaigns ever on the platform.
At its current pace the effort is on track to surpass the $6.7 million raised for victims of February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“There are no words that could express the incredible support the hockey community has seen here,” wrote Sylvie Kellington, who launched the campaign, on the GoFundMe page. Kellington’s son played for a youth version of the team.
As of Tuesday afternoon more than 90,000 people had donated, shattering Kellington’s original goal of $4 million.
The most successful campaigns
Rachel Hollis, GoFundMe’s communication manager for Canada and Australia, says the campaign is the largest to date in Canada. On the platform it trails only the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which has raised $21,488,800 since it was created December 20; a fund for victims of the Las Vegas shooting, which raised $11.8 million; a fund for victims of the 2016 Pulse shooting in Orlando, which raised $7.8 million; and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
The bus was carrying a junior hockey team last Friday when it collided with a tractor-trailer, according to police. Fifteen people were killed and at least 14 others were injured.
“Please help us raise money for the players and families affected,” Kellington wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Money will go directly to families to help with any expenses incurred.”
Moved to help
The tragedy struck a chord across Canada, where hockey is the dominant sport and many young players take long bus rides to tournaments.
Many in the larger hockey community have been moved to help. The Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL donated $10,000.
GoFundMe has set up a centralized hub with other campaigns related to the hockey team’s tragedy. They are in contact with Kellington as well as the Humboldt Broncos’ vice president to decide how the money will be spent.
Giving money isn’t the only way people are trying to help victims of the tragedy. Mourners across Canada have been paying tribute by posting photos of hockey sticks outside of their front doors.