Humboldt Broncos fund becomes Canada's largest GoFundMe campaign ever

In the sport of hockey, the true measure of character is how one responds to adversity.

In the case of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team, the response to tragedy can be measured not just in kind words and heartfelt gestures, but also in money raised for those directly affected.

One week ago, a bus carrying members of the Humboldt team was involved in a collision with a truck near Tisdale, Sask. Sixteen people were killed in the crash, most of them members of the hockey team.

Hours after it was first reported, a GoFundMe campaign called Funds for Humboldt Broncos was launched in support of the players and families. As of 2 p.m. Friday, more than $10.7 million has been raised and the number keeps climbing.

“The fund for the Humboldt Broncos is the largest campaign to date in Canada, and now one of GoFundMe’s top three largest campaigns globally,” Rachel Hollis, GoFundMe’s communications manager for Canada and Australia, told Yahoo Canada via email. 

“In less than a week, over $10 million has been raised from more than 120,000 donations, which is the largest number of contributions to a GoFundMe campaign in history,” she added.

Donors from more than 80 countries including the U.K., Australia, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Ireland, Sweden, India and Peru have supported the cause, according to GoFundMe. Canadians from every province and territory have also contributed.

A giant hockey stick featuring the words “Broncos strong” leans against a telephone phone just outside of Humboldt, Sask., where a community is reeling following the deaths of 16 people in a bus crash. Photo from The Canadian Press.

The crowdfunding platform revealed the largest campaigns in terms of money raised on GoFundMe.

The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which was launched in December and raised more than $21.5 million, ranks in first place. The Las Vegas Victims’ Fund sits second with $11.9 million raised, followed by the Humboldt campaign.

Support Victims of Pulse Shooting ($7.9 million), the Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund ($7.1 million) and the March For Our Lives ($3.5 million) rank fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively.

“When there’s an unspeakable tragedy like the bus crash with the Humboldt Broncos, people have a deep urge to help and provide comfort to those affected,” Hollis said. “At GoFundMe, we’ve seen this time and again: people are capable of incredible empathy, and when they’re given a chance, they will do what they can to ease the burden of families in pain.”

Sylvie Kellington is the hockey mother behind the Humboldt GoFundMe campaign. “Money will go directly to families to help with any expenses incurred,” she wrote in the description.

Yahoo Canada confirmed with GoFundMe that there is a 0 per cent platform fee for all personal fundraising campaigns in Canada and the company relies on voluntary tips from donors. This means the money raised will go to those in need — the players and families affected.