GoFundMe is working directly the organizer of a fundraiser for a Raleigh police officer who was shot last week to ensure his family receives the money from that effort, according to a spokesperson for GoFundMe.
David Blackwelder, of N.C. Sheriff Police Alliance began raising funds for Officer Charles Ainsworth last week after Ainsworth was shot several times while responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle in Southwest Raleigh.
People donated more than $76,000 by Monday afternoon.
“I didn’t realize it would take off like this. And, from what I was told, it has to go specifically to him. And, I just didn’t think that it would cause a lot of issues. I just wanted it to go to him,” said Blackwelder.
His organization’s attorney, Brian Aus, advised that the money would need to go directly to Officer Ainsworth, not a relative.
Later Monday afternoon, Katherine Cichy, a spokesperson for GoFundMe, responded to CBS 17 to clarify what would happen with the money raised.
“We are working directly with the campaign organizer and guarantee the funds raised will be transferred directly to Officer Ainsworth’s family,” she wrote in an email. “It’s important to know that when money is raised for another individual, funds are collected by our payment processors, held, and then released only to the person named as the beneficiary.”
She went on to write, “Additionally, the entire platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means funds are guaranteed to go to the right place or they will get a refund.” To view additional information on the GoFundMe guarantee, click here: www.gofundme.com/guarantee.
People across the region are trying to find ways to help Officer Ainsworth and his family.
Later this week, various restaurants in the area will hold fundraisers as well.
Niall Hanley, the owner of the Hibernian Pub in Glenwood South and North Raleigh, said he’ll donate 10 percent of gross sales on Wednesday to Officer Ainsworth and his family. Additionally, 10 percent of sales on Thursday at Raleigh Beer Garden on Glenwood Avenue will also be donated.
“You know, I think law enforcement as a whole has taken a bit of a beating over the last couple of years, all over the United States, essentially all over the world,” said Hanley. “Young cops don’t get paid a lot. I think when something like this happens, it’s frightening to see that that sort of violence can explode, literally, in a city like Raleigh.”
Also on Thursday, all Papa Murphy’s locations in Wake and Cumberland counties will donate 25 percent of proceeds to Officer Ainsworth and his family.
“Any chance you get an opportunity to serve someone who serves the community and puts their life on the line every day, that’s when you can do really good work,” said Louis Pate, general manager of the pizza chain’s Fuquay-Varina location.
Late Monday afternoon, officials said Ainsworth’s family has set up an account at the Local Government Federal Credit Union. Raleigh police partnered with the family to start the “Charles Ainsworth Recovery Fund.”
According to an official, there are no fees or charges and 100 percent of donations will go to his family.
You can also donate at any State Employees Credit Union Location.