There are many worthy GoFundMe campaigns on the Northern Rivers.
There are many worthy GoFundMe campaigns on the Northern Rivers.

5 GoFundMes more deserving of your money than Israel Folau

THE controversy surrounding Israel Folau's now-defunct GoFundMe page has shone a light on many of the worthy causes using the crowdfunding site.

The star player faced intense criticism for asking strangers to donate to his legal fund as he prepares to fight Rugby Australia for unfair dismissal.

It did not go unnoticed that Folau's campaign was on the website near fundraisers for children with terminal illnesses.

In light of the debate, The Northern Star has put together a list of six local GoFundMe campaigns supporting causes more worthy than Israel Folau's legal bills.

1. Tim Watkins

Tim Watkins was killed in a hit and run incident on Wilsons Creek Road, Wilsons Creek, about 9km south-west of Mullumbimby.
Tim Watkins was killed in a hit and run incident on Wilsons Creek Road, Wilsons Creek, about 9km south-west of Mullumbimby. Contributed

The mourning Mullumimby community has dug deep into its pockets to donate money to the family of 22-year-old Tim Watkins, who was killed in a hit and run incident over the weekend.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up by Kayla Brooke to help out the Watkins family during this difficult time as they prepare to say farewell to their beloved son and brother.

In less than five hours since the GoFundMe campaign was launched, the community has already raised more than $20,000.

"Yesterday our community lost a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a friend, a larrikin and a smile that would light up a room,” Ms Brooke wrote online.

"We have set this page up for anyone who may like to contribute to the Watkins Family during this devastating time.”

2. Theo Hayez

Missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez.
Missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez. Contributed

THE family missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez are forever grateful for the support the Byron Bay community has given them over the past two weeks, as the search for the 18-year-old continues.

Laurent Hayez, Theo's father who arrived in Australia last week to assist in the search for this son, said he was thankful for the "kindness” he and his family have received.

Shortly after news spread of Theo's disappearance, family friends created a GoFundMe campaign to assist with the search.

The crowdfunding campaign has so far raised more than $70,000.

"Thank you for everyone who has given to the crowdfunding set up by our friends that has allowed me to come to Australia and is supporting us in our search for my son,” Mr Hayez said.

"As soon as we have realised the success of the crowdfunding, Theo's mother and I agreed that any funds that remain when Theo is found will be split between one Belgian and one Australian charity dedicated to finding missing people.”

3. Connor Meldrum

Connor Meldrum fought for his life after falling down the cliffs at Cape Byron.
Connor Meldrum fought for his life after falling down the cliffs at Cape Byron.

THREE months ago, Kim Goodrick's 15-year-old son fell from the cliffs at Cape Byron.

He was in ICU fighting for his life for two weeks.

Ms Goodrick said she started the GoFundMe campaign to get the equipment that could have helped emergency services on the day Connor fell.

"It will help in the future for helicopter retrievals of young children and adolescents in the Northern Rivers area,” she wrote on the campaign page.

"If you are as angry as I am about Israel Folau's GoFundMe for his bigoted cause, please contribute whatever you can and share this, because believe me, if anyone knows what it's like to fight for your life, Connor does.

"Many thanks to everyone who has already contributed.”

4. Luka Monroe

Luka Monroe, of Byron Bay.
Luka Monroe, of Byron Bay.

HE WAS a healthy and very active five-year-old living in Byron Bay with his wonderful family, a budding motorcycle racer and loved surfing and fishing.

But one day he developed stabbing pains in his stomach and, within 48 hours, he was in the back of an ambulance being transferred to the Queensland Children's Hospital, where he was preliminary diagnosed with a large tumour in his left kidney, around the size of a naval orange.

The cancerous tumour has been classed as a stage three, having bled into Luka's body and causing his stabbing pains. His treatment is a priority, as now there is a chance the cancer could spread with the bleed.

The GoFundMe was created to show support for Luka and his family.

"They have a long road ahead for what should've been the happiest time of their lives with Luka having just started primary school,” the campaign page states.

Money raised will go directly towards helping them fund the costs of their upcoming battle through this difficult time.

5. Yeshe Reiners

No Caption
No Caption

POPULAR North Coast musician Yeshe Reiners is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for lymphoma.

According to his GoFundMe page, money raised will support his "full and best recovery”.

"We are reaching out to his community around the world to offer their financial support and love for completing the treatment and to allow him to choose his preferred and well-considered path of integrative therapies after the chemotherapy,” the page states.



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