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An LGBTQ-owned auto store has launched an online fundraiser to cover $25,000 in funeral costs for the victims of the Club Q shooting. In 2 days, donors have raised nearly $700,000.

People light candles at a makeshift memorial for the victims of Saturday’s fatal shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo., outside Rocco’s WeHo in West Hollywood, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022.AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

  • On November 20, five people were killed and 18 were injured in a shooting at ClubQ in Colorado Springs.

  • Hours after the attack, company owner Faith Haug launched a GoFundMe campaign for the victims.

  • Donors raised $25,000 in just two hours. As of this writing, donors have raised nearly $700,000.

On November 20, five people were killed and 18 were injured in a shooting at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Hours after the shooting, Faith Haug, co-owner of an auto shop Good Judy Garage in a nearby town called Sheridan, tried to figure out how to donate money to ClubQ. She co-owns the workshop with her partner CC Haug, the chief mechanic who manages day-to-day operations.

“We heard about the shooting Sunday morning and went to donate. We couldn’t find anywhere to donate,” Haug told Insider. “Some of our employees went to ClubQ, so it made sense for us to create a fund.”

Haug created a GoFundMe campaign and donors raised $25,000 in two hours

Haug created a GoFundMe page for the victims of the ClubQ shooting. She shared the campaign on her Good Judy Garage Instagram Page, which, at the time, had less than 4,000 subscribers. “Our social media following took off with it,” she says.

In just two hours, donors raised $25,000. One hour later, donations totaled $50,515. “I’m crying in a cafe. This community is second to none,” Haug wrote in an Instagram caption.

She then began increasing the campaign goal in increments of $50,000 and $100,000. “We’re approaching 400,000 funds – it’s amazing and so appreciated,” Haug wrote in a GoFundMe update posted on Monday, November 21. As of 1 p.m., the campaign surpassed $500,000 in donations.

The campaign raised nearly $700,000 in two days

As of this writing, the campaign has raised $686,596 from more than 17,600 donors. The funds raised are a testament to the power of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies on social media.

“Queers take care of queers,” donator Elle Billman wrote in the comments. Another donor named Sonya Murphy writes: “It could have been my child, his girlfriend, their friends, my co-worker’s son… Thank you for organizing, my heart breaks for everyone involved and for all the LGBTQIA+ community.”

Haug adds, “Queer business owners here in Colorado Springs, we protect each other. It’s a small community. When something happens to a business, whether it’s a club or a restaurant or whoever it is. either, the community is there to step in. try to help.”

Haug is working with an LGBTQ+ law firm to disburse the funds to victims

From the start, Haug’s intention was to pass all funds raised to the families of those who were killed first, and then direct additional donations to injured victims. Now with six figures to manage, the task of paying out money to the victims is more complicated than she had anticipated.

“It sounds like an astronomical amount of money,” she said, “but if you consider the medical bills, it really isn’t. The funeral costs for five people will potentially be in the six figures. Even one person’s medical bills could be in the six figures, and there are 18 injured.”

Haug added a form to the GoFundMe page for victims to contact her. The campaign page says the names and contact details of the victims will not be shared publicly. In the meantime, she is working with an LGBTQ+ law firm to distribute funds fairly to victims and their families, without taking a percentage of donations. This is the first time Haug has managed a campaign that has garnered six figures in donations in just two days.

Trusts lawyer and professor of law at the University of Washington Karen Boxx compares the ClubQ fundraiser to the 2016 Pulse fundraiser, which raised $7.8 million and was organized by Equality Florida.

“With Pulse fundraising, it was a nonprofit,” Boxx told Insider. “This one is run by a private person.”

Nonprofits have the tax structure to solicit donations and easily disburse funds to others, unlike an individual fundraiser.

“It’s going to take a lot of time and work to distribute so much money”, Boxx

Some donors withdrew their donations because they believed the funds were not being disbursed quickly enough. Haug replied, “It’s not even 48 hours. GoFundMe takes at least five business days to transfer funds. We’re doing everything we can to get things done, but we’re just asking people to be patient and understand that that’s a lot of money.”

Read the original article at Business Intern