After seeing a disturbing video of young teens mercilessly bullying a senior citizen on a school bus, thousands across the Internet have rallied together to send her on a vacation.
And what a vacation that will be: the crowdsource funding campaign has raised over $130,000 at the time of writing, and it doesn't look like it's slowing down.
UPDATE (1:41 p.m.): Three hours after initially posting this blog, the funding campaign has now raised $238,664.
It all started when a YouTube user uploaded this video of Klein being bullied by a group of 12-15 year olds. The video, uploaded June 19, was recorded while Klein was working as a school bus monitor in Greece, New York.
Please note this video contains explicit language and disturbing content:
In the video, the teens can be heard calling Klein names like "fat" and "ugly," touching her and asking her where she lives so they can steal all of her belongings. In an interview with Rochester YNN, Klein says she was told that her kids should "probably just commit suicide." She states in the interview that her son did in fact take his own life. Klein attempts to stay stoic throughout, but can be seen wiping away tears at several points in the ten-minute video.
The video was posted on Reddit by user named razorsheldon, and quickly garnered outrage against the teens' actions among users. Another Reddit user created a fundraising page on crowdsource funding site IndieGoGo to raise $5,000 to send Klein on a "nice vacation" as a way to reward her for her hard work with the school district in the face of abuse.
Within hours, the campaign had raised over $20,000.
Overnight, the campaign picked up more steam and was well over $100,000 by Thursday morning.
"It is just huge," said the campaign's creator, Toronto-based Max Sidorov, to Democrat and Chronicle. "I thought it would get a few thousand dollars, maybe. But maybe she could retire on this."
According to the IndieGoGo page, Klein earns $15,506 a year for her role as a bus monitor.
Huffington Post reports that some Redditors have taken a different approach, moving to 4chan to identify the teens involved (something not allowed on Reddit). Users posted links to the Facebook pages of those who were allegedly involved in the incident.
Crowdsource campaigns have recently proven extremely successful, as "Lets Give Karen — The bus monitor — H Klein A Vacation!" comes on the heels of a fundraising campaign headed by web comic writer Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal.
Inman posted a blog recently detailing how legal action was being brought against him because of another blog post he'd written a year ago. In the original blog, he explained how his original work was being posted and monetized by another website, FunnyJunk. The recent post explained how he had been sent a letter by lawyer Charles Carreon, representing FunnyJunk and demanding that Inman take down every mention on The Oatmeal of FunnyJunk and pay him $20,000.
In response, Inman said that instead of sending a cheque to Carreon, he would try and raise $20,000 and donate half to the World Wildlife Fund, and the other half to the American Cancer Society. The Bear Love Good, Cancer Bad campaign has raised $207,152 as of writing, and still has another 5 days remaining.