On November 20, five people were killed and 18 injured in a shooting at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Hours after the shooting, Faith Haug, co-owner of the Good Judy Garage auto shop in a nearby town called Sheridan, tried to figure out how to donate money to ClubQ. She co-owns the shop with her partner CC Haug, the master mechanic who runs the day-to-day operations.
“We heard about the shooting Sunday morning and went to make a donation. We couldn’t find anywhere to donate,” Hogg told Insider. “Some of our employees have gone on to ClubQ, so it made sense for us to start a fund.”
Haug created a GoFundMe campaign, and donors raised $25,000 in two hours
Haug created a GoFundMe page for shooting victims on ClubQ. She shared the campaign on her Instagram page, Good Judy Garage, which, at the time, had just under 4,000 followers. “My social media following took off with her,” she says.
In just two hours, donors raised $25,000. An hour later, the donations totaled $50,515. “I’m sobbing in a coffee shop. This community is like no other,” Hough wrote in a caption on Instagram.
Then I started raising the campaign goal in increments of $50,000 and $100,000. “We’re getting close to 400,000 in funds — which is incredible and very appreciative,” Haug wrote in a GoFundMe update posted on Monday, November 21.
The campaign raised nearly $700,000 in two days
At the time of this writing, the campaign has raised $686,596 with more than 17,600 donors. The money raised is a testament to the strength of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies on social media.
“Queers take care of queer,” donor Elle Bellman wrote in the comments. Another donor named Sonya Murphy wrote, “You could have been my child, her friend, her friends, my coworker’s son… Thanks for organizing, my heart goes out to everyone involved and the entire LGBTQIA+ community.”
Adds Hough, “We gay business owners here in Colorado Springs look out for each other. It’s a small community. When something happens to a business, whether it’s a club or a restaurant or whatever, the community is there to join in and try to help.”
Haug works with an LGBTQ+ law firm to disburse funds for victims
From the start, Haug’s intention was to pass any money raised on to the families of those killed first, and then direct any additional donations to the injured victims. Now with six figures to manage, the task of cashing out the victims is more complicated than she might have expected.
She said, “It sounds like a huge amount of money, but when you think about the medical bills, it’s not really like that. The funeral expenses for five people are probably six figures. Even one person’s medical bills can be six figures, and there are 18 injured.”
Haug added a form to a GoFundMe page for victims to contact her. The campaign page notes that victims’ names and contact information will not be shared publicly. In the meantime, she’s working with an LGBTQ+ law firm to disburse funds fairly to victims and their families, without taking a percentage of donations. This is the first time Haug has run a campaign that has raised six figures in donations in just two days.
Some donors have withdrawn their donations because they believe the money has not been disbursed quickly enough. Haug said in response, “It hasn’t even been 48 hours. GoFundMe takes at least five business days to transfer money. We’re doing our best to get things moving, but we’re just asking that people be patient and understand that this is a lot of money.”