People want transparency when donating to a cause. I get it. But, does that apply to GoFundMe’s you’re donating to?
I think people should be allowed to do whatever they want with the money they’re gifted.
This Redditor encountered this very issue with his brother-in-law. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for telling my wife that I think it was wrong for her brother to buy a diamond ring and propose to his girlfriend two weeks after we donated and fundraised to help him after he lost his home to a fire?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My BIL has lived with his girlfriend for almost two years. He has been through terrible tragedy before, losing his previous serious girlfriend about 5 years ago.”
“He unfortunately recently went through another horrible tragedy, losing his home to a forest fire. Him and his girlfriend are safe. They were able to evacuate, get out almost all of their belongings and help neighbors evacuate too.”
“I cannot imagine how bad it would feel to experience the amount of loss that he has. Luckily, he has a place to live temporarily through friends and a great support system.”
“My FIL set up a GoFundMe, with my BIL approving it and advertising it.”
“The goal was to help raise money for what was lost, what may not be covered under insurance and to help them get by in the meantime. I happily donated a generous amount, and I spread the word to my friends and family.”
“I wanted to help, and I figured even every little bit would be helpful.”
Everyone was eager to help.
“Many of my family members donated generous amounts as well. The GoFundMe was successful in fundraising a solid amount of money, and I was grateful.”
“A week or two later, he proposed to his girlfriend.”
“They had been together long enough and are a good match. Everyone is happy that there is some positive news for them after such an awful situation. I am happy for them too.”
“However, he proposed with a decently-sized diamond ring. I learned that he bought the ring after all the fundraising. He did not have the ring before the fire. The fire was the catalyst for the proposal.”
“I told my wife that it felt wrong that he bought an expensive ring after asking for and accepting donations. I feel that the money was given to help him rebuild and get by in other ways.”
“Of course it is his money to do what he wants with it, and this is rising from the ashes in just a different way than what I was intending to contribute.”
“My wife argues that he was planning on proposing before, and that he had the money for the ring already. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt and say this is true.”
OP is confused about the money.
“However, if he had enough money for an expensive ring, then he didn’t truly need a GoFundMe. In my opinion, he should have gotten her a more affordable ring considering the circumstances.”
“My wife sees nothing wrong with the situation, and she said she couldn’t believe that I thought her brother was such a horrible person and would do such a thing.”
“I don’t, and I feel sorry for what he has been through. I’m happy that he has some good news.”
“The timeline of events with the fundraising just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I feel taken advantage of, in a way. I also feel bad for encouraging my friends and family to help.”
“The expensive purchase doesn’t feel right, and I feel used. AITA?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“I’m gonna say a tentative NTA.”
“I 100% see where you would get the impression that he used that money for a ring. And if he did have the money before, why did he wait to buy it?”
“You stated he didn’t have the ring before the fire but your wife said he had the money for it.”
“So why didn’t he buy it as soon as he had the money? It does seem kinda sketchy. I’d feel used as well.” ~ ahawk300
“OP is NTA for wondering if his BIL used the money he was so generously gifted for an expensive diamond ring instead of its intended purpose.”
“Maybe he BIL the money before hand, maybe BIL didn’t. Either way, the BIL had his home burn down and that may have sparked a realization that things can go to shit quickly and he wanted to marry his GF.” ~ asharpe132
“NTA. Recovering stuff you lost in a fire is a much bigger priority than proposing. He could’ve used that money and maybe pushed back the proposal a bit.” ~ bigkoalafications
People thought he was just prioritizing what’s important in life.
“The pandemic has taught me a lot about ‘stuff.’ My house could burn down and while I would be pissed/sad… I doubt I would ever try to replace the majority of the stuff in the house.”
“So if the dude wants to buy a ring for his girlfriend, after losing everything in a fire… that is his choice.” ~ KyotoSkateShop
“It is his choice but he also chose to open a GoFundMe even though he obviously had the money to recover things…he could’ve proposed later and used the ring money to recover what he needed.” ~ bigkoalafications
“You think he should, after losing his house, have to also lose his engagement? The money people donated is going to it’s intended purpose.”
“What if it was his kids college savings, or savings for fertility treatments, or for a medical procedure? Would he be expected to drain those accounts instead of accepting donations to cover his loss? I’m sure he would have used that money to recoup his losses if he needed to, luckily he has friends and family that care and love him and don’t want him to have to sacrifice something else that’s big just to recoup his home loss.” ~ Screecheecheechee
“He wasn’t planning to propose until after the fire, though. So he wouldn’t lose his engagement, because he never had it. He decided to do it with the donations pouring in, and decided to go big for it.” ~ charley_warlzz
“It was planned so yeah, OP is saying he should have to put his life on hold when the whole purpose of people donating was so his house burning down won’t be a huge devastating impact to his life.”
“Now OP is mad that he is doing just that.”
“The money they fainted is going to it’s intended purpose. If the savings was for fertility treatment or for a medical procedure or for college or kids expenses would it be the same? Or just because Op doesn’t value an engagement ring the same?” ~ Screecheecheechee
Sometimes it takes a tragedy to realize what’s really important in life.