While the United States continues to debate over government-funded healthcare, Americans with mounting medical bills sometimes have nowhere to turn. Many people without health insurance — and even some who are fortunate enough to have it — find themselves struggling to make payments or sometimes go without care for fear of debt later on. A new website called GiveForward is targeted at these very individuals and allows them to start personal fundraisers and rely on the generosity of others for financial assistance.
Those going through tough times can create a GiveForward page detailing their financial standing and current medical situation. As funds are raised, most organizers provide updates as to the status of themselves or their loved one currently undergoing or awaiting treatment. You can even start a donation drive for pet medical expenses, and as anyone who has had a sick dog or cat can attest, vet bills are no small feat to overcome.
By promoting a fundraiser though social networks like Twitter and Facebook, organizers can raise awareness of their pressing medical crisis, and provide potential donors a safe and secure way to help out. Donors can keep their information private, or choose to share it with the beneficiary of the fundraiser. After each fundraiser is completed, GiveForward sends a check for the donation total (less a 7% cut to keep the site up and running) to the beneficiary.
In total, GiveForward has already helped raise over $5.4 million for medical expenses and related causes. Fundraisers of $10,000 are commonplace, and some have even been able to raise as much as $88,000 for life-saving procedures. The site relies on the same kind of generosity that fuels donation sites likeKickstarter — which helps raise funds for various business startups and projects — only in this case, instead of donating cash to a new website or invisible art museum, you could help save a human life.
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