Once again the Internet comes to the rescue.
An Ohio soup kitchen is facing donor backlash after its president condemned Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan for using it as an unauthorized photo op. But now the charity is getting some much needed financial help from members of news aggregator site Fark, who have set up an Indiegogo campaign to make up for the lost donations.
On Oct. 13, Ryan and his family stopped by the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society soup kitchen in Youngstown, Ohio for an impromptu photo op—much to the chagrin of Brian J. Antal, president of the charity.
“We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations,” Antal told the Washington Post. “It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it.”
Unfortunately for the organization, Antal’s denouncement of Ryan’s antics came at a price. He confirmed on Thursday that numerous donors had withheld their donations following his public reprimand.
Although he would not disclose a monetary amount, Antal did confirm that his charity suffered a big hit.
“It appears to be a substantial amount,” he said. “You can rest assured there has been a substantial backlash.”
Not all is lost, however.
On Oct. 18, news of the backlash reached Fark, whose users in turn set up the Indiegogo campaign for the beleaguered charity
“We believe it is unconscionable that the hundred thousand people who get meals every year from this soup kitchen should suffer because of partisan antics,” wrote project coordinator Corey Snow, who goes by “Cyclometh” on Fark.
The campaign appears to be a massive success. The fundraising effort achieved its goal of $10,000 within the first 30 hours. As of this writing, 409 donors have contributed $12,415.
As for perks, individuals who contribute $5 or more will have their name written on a card that will be sent to the charity. Donors who chip in $50 will receive a commemorative shirt.
For their part, Antal and the charity he runs have been nothing but thankful.
“Thank you to all that are supporting the hard work of our Volunteers and helping the 100,000 individuals we serve annually,” Antal stated in an update. “The donations, kind words and support are all very much welcome and appreciated.”
Photo via Sam Beebe/Flickr