He Accidentally Donated Over $15,000 To A Charity When He Meant To Send $150
by Matthew Gilligan
That’s quite a discrepancy…
And you’ll see what I’m talking about in just a minute after you read this story from Reddit’s “Today I ****** Up” page.
But this guy was only trying to do the right thing!
Check out what he had to say.
TIFU by donating $15,041 to a poor community in Bangladesh instead of the $150 donation I intended.
“My wife and I (both 31 years old, at the time) moved into a new three-unit apartment building in San Francisco. One of our neighbors is a 70-something year old retired veteran, we’ll call him Joe.
He heard about a charity…
For context, Joe is a white American guy and he’s also a devout Hindu priest. One day I run into Joe in my hallway, and he tells me about this charity he manages for a community in Bangladesh. I wanted to support my neighbor and the charity, so I ask Joe to send me the GoFundMe link.
But he made a mistake.
The next day at work, I go on the GoFundMe page and donate $150. Or so I thought. Moments later, I get a text on my phone warning me of an unusually large transaction on my credit card. I’m confused and swipe to open the text message. It says I have made a payment of $15,041 to GoFundMe. Immediately I’m sweating.
How could I have donated FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS? I spend the next 10-15 minutes retracing my steps, and finally I realize my credit card starts with the numbers 4 and 1. It seems I had accidentally started typing my credit card information while my cursor was still in the donation box, and just like that 150 became 15041. Yikes.
It was time to panic.
I call GoFundMe’s support line in a panic, and when I finally connect with a human I explain what happened. “No need to worry”, he tells me, they will initiate a refund of the transaction which should process in 3-7 business days.
That’s a huge relief. But then I ask the agent if the charity will be able to see the donation on the GoFundMe page until it is refunded. “What do you mean?” the agent asks me. “What do YOU mean what do I mean?” was my response.
“Will they be able to see the $15,041 donation?!” Unfortunately, yes, the agent tells me. They will be able to see it until the refund process is complete. I tell him that’s a big problem, as the entire GoFundMe had hardly raised that much at that point. Surely they will notice their fundraiser doubling overnight?
And it got even worse…
My plan was to knock on Joe’s door the following morning to give him the full story, so that he could pass it along to his contacts in Bangladesh. But when I woke up the next morning, I looked at my phone and saw I had 40+ notifications on Facebook.
Someone had sent me a friend request, had liked many of my old posts, and had sent me many messages. Immediately I was concerned when I saw that the individual messaging me had a Hindu name, but I never could have imagined what I saw when I opened his first message…
The man had sent me a video of himself from Bangladesh, surrounded by dozens of impoverished and hungry people holding bags of food, thanking me BY NAME (Michael) for my generous donation. A big round of applause for Michael.
This guy was a hero!
At this point, I’ve leapt out of my bed and I’m pacing. Part of me wants to scream, part of me wants to crack up laughing.
I start swiping through the man’s messages, and it is picture after picture after picture of poor Bangladeshis thanking me for my kind donation.
Literally hundreds of photos of frail, elderly, disabled, and malnourished individuals holding signs with my name. Thank you, Michael. Thank you, Michael.
But he still seems like a nice guy who wants to do the right thing.
Needless to say, I couldn’t live with myself just donating $150 after seeing how the community responded to the $15,041.
I decided the least I could do was to add a zero, and so I donated $1,500 once the original donation was refunded.
The charity’s host was incredibly gracious and understanding, and he explained to me that $1,500 goes very far in Bangladesh for urgent food relief.
Ultimately I think the whole experience was a win-win. I helped a great cause, and I got a funny story out of it.”
Check out how folks reacted.
This person was very impressed with this story.
Another reader said they’d feel horrible if this happened to them.
One reader had an interesting thought.
This Reddit user decided to donate after reading this story.
And one person said this person is one of the good ones!
Well, at least they did what they could.
Seems like a really nice person!