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GoFundMe will be refunding every donor who contributed money to the multimillion-dollar campaign started by an Iraq War veteran to help the government fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
As BuzzFeed News’ Brianna Sacks first reported, Brian Kolfage, the veteran and President Donald Trump supporter who started the campaign, updated the GoFundMe page on Friday. Kolfage said the U.S. government “won’t be able to accept our donations anytime soon” and that his team is “better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border.”
The page had raised $20 million of its $1 billion goal.
“When I created this fundraiser, I said if we did not reach our goal we will refund donors,” Kolfage wrote. “I am honoring that commitment today.”
GoFundMe confirmed to Sacks on Friday that all 33,000 donors to the campaign would receive refunds.
“If a donor does not want a refund, they must proactively elect to redirect their donation to that organization,” a GoFundMe spokesperson said. “If they do not take that step, they will automatically receive a full refund.”
On the GoFundMe page, Kolfage laid out an action plan for the independent building of a wall involving a newly created nonprofit We Build the Wall, Inc. and advisory board. He wrote steps had been taken to find “the most densely crossed areas of the border” and solicit “affected landowners” on whose property the nonprofit will be attempting to build wall segments.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government is on day 21 of a shutdown over funding of a border wall.
“If the Democrats won’t provide the funding for what the American people voted for in 2016 then we the people will,” wrote Kolfage, who did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment. “When Americans see us completing real miles of beautiful wall, we know that we will raise the many billions we need to finally secure the entire border.”
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.