People of the Internet, you did it: In less than 48 hours you managed to raise more than half a million dollars to send bullied bus driver Karen Klein on a vacation.
Max Sidorov, the young man who started the fundraising campaign on Wednesday morning, was hoping to raise $5,000 for Klein, but that was peanuts for you. You blew past that number in just five hours.
By the time Sidorov woke up Thursday morning the fundraising campaign was up to $125,000. And throughout the day on Thursday, the number seemed to grow by $3,000 every 15 minutes.
The last time I checked, 25,271 people had donated a total of $544,463 to the Klein's vacation fund. That means the average donation was about $21.53
Someone even started a petition on Change.Org to ask President Obama to let Klein receive the donated money tax free. It turned out it was not necessary because there are no taxes on the money being given to Klein, but that didn't stop 7,500-plus people from signing it.
The attention has prompted two of the four boys in the video to release apologies through the police.
“I am so sorry for the way I treated you. When I saw that video I was disgusted and could not believe I did that,” said one of the boys in the video.
“I feel really bad about what I did. I wish I had never done those things. If that had happened to someone in my family, like my mother or grandmother, I would be really mad at the people who did that to them,” said another.
In other news, Anderson Cooper popped the surprise that Southwest Airlines was going to pay for Klein and nine of her family or friends to go to Disneyland for three nights.
So, now that Klein has got her apologies -- at least half of them -- and $520,000 which she is eligible to receive tax-free, and a free vacation to boot, why are the donations continuing to flow in and a rapid pace?
"It’s the need to want to help, that’s what you are witnessing here," said Julie Hertzog, director of the National Bullying Prevention Center, a nonprofit that provides free outreach to combat bullying. "It hit an emotional nerve and people are relating to the situation."
Hertzog said her organization has seen outpourings of support to people who have been bullied before, but never more than $500,000.
"That is significant," she said.