Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bringing Nate Home

It's been a roller coaster of emotions around here, some wonderful, some terrible. First, the terrible.

Yesterday Kazi learned that a close friend died while on holiday in Cancun. (I removed Nate's last name and names of his family members).

Nate was a very special person and his joy de vivre touched everyone he met. This is a tragedy beyond measure. Nate was an alumni of Western University in London  and a fledgling entrepreneur and club promoter. He belonged to the Delta Upsilon fraternity and was a co-founder of "Lion's Den University"; a student lifestyle website.

What has amazed me is the power of social media and the Gofundme fundraising site set up by a close friend to help raise money to bring Nate home.  I love the way Nate's friends and business associates are pooling their resources to help Nate's family during this difficult time. What I haven't shown is the outpouring of love and comments for Nate which is also helping his family and friends cope. The power of social media is incredible. It has given Kazi and hundreds of others a way of helping and contributing and a way of expressing their grief and supporting each other.

I'm sure there are many who feel cynical about such a process, me being one of them ...formerly. But another example of this amazing site and others like it was shown to me a week ago when a 3 year old boy in Toronto wandered out of his apartment building at 4am in -20c weather wearing nothing but a Tshirt, a diaper and boots. After a frantic search he was found - but he didn't make it. Hundreds if not thousands of people in Toronto contributed to an on-line fundraiser set up by a stranger who "just wanted to do something" to help the grieving family.

The world is indeed becoming a "global village" where we can help people we haven't even met and come together as a community to support each other when things go terribly wrong. Updates from the family have expressed their gratitude at all of the love and support being shown for Nate. Even in the short time it's taken me to type this hundreds more dollars have been added to a total which has far surpassed its goal. Money can never replace a loved one but it can help alleviate stress and financial pressure when a sudden tragedy takes place.


$32,392 of $20k
Raised by 683 people in 15 hours


  1. I think go fund me is a wonderful resource... It can raise money for people who really need it in times of crisis. Sorry for the loss...

  2. I don't know I have mixed emotions about go fund me, I think it could easily be abused, not saying that is what is happening about the two instances you have written about, BUT it could happen.

  3. I remain in the cynical camp about GoFundMe campaigns, because the potential for exploitation and abuse seems huge. Unfortunately there is always going to be bad things happening to good people and their families, and my efforts are always toward those I "know" either online or in real life or those in need within my own community. Whenever possible I prefer to dial direct in my helping efforts. That's just me, though; it could be an age or generational distrust.

  4. I set up one of these Go Fund Me pages when a friend lost her husband unexpectedly a couple of years ago. While they can get out of hand/abused like Gill said, that can only happen if people don't take care not to be taken advantage of by funding unscrupulous ones so always check before you donate.
    That being said, I'd do it again for someone I know who was in dire straits, in a heartbeat....

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. He seemed a beautiful person, he still is,

  6. livingrichonthecheapFebruary 24, 2015 at 1:10 PM

    A local mother succumbed to post-natal depression and committed suicide here - tried to bring her baby along with her. They couldn't save her but saved her baby. A go fund me site was set up for his care and assistance to his father while the baby was in the hospital. As others have said, if you make sure you know what you are donating towards - it gives those who might want to help but who don't know the family a way to do so

  7. Give Kazi a hug from me..I'm guessing she needs hugs right now.
    Jane x

  8. There are times when I'm sick over what human being will do to another. And then I see something like this and the burden is lifted. There is a lot of love being shown to the family and friends during this time of sorrow.

  9. I think it's fair for you to only give to causes that you are directly or indirectly connected to. I think that's the main idea behind crowdfunding.

    In this case, Nathan has 4,610 friends on one of his two Facebook accounts.If only a third of those had given $20 each, the family would have raised more than $30000. I'm his friend on Facebook so I can see the steady stream of messages coming in. People aren't just saying "Oh man RIP". They are posting lengthy stories of how Nate touched them, helped them with homework, with self-confidence, with jobs during school, after school, socializing, and so on. That's why so much money was raised so quickly.

    Jane, speaking of a global village, Nate was a teammate although we weren't close in recent years. I saw Kazi's post on his Facebook and I thought "wow small world! I read her mum's blog". But I didn't comment, cos that would be creepy. Hug her for this random stranger who reads your blog but never comments. Nate lived a good life.

  10. The love and support has been amazing!

  11. She sure does - I'm giving her lots and will give her another one from you. Thanks!

  12. There is definitely a place for crowd funding. Thanks for your thoughts.

  13. Thanks Yemisi, for passing on your thoughts, and they are always welcome:) It is indeed a small world and I love the connections that happen when we put ourselves "out there". I didn't know Nate either except through Kazi but it's obvious he touched many lives in many ways. A truly beautiful soul.


Thank you for your comment - it means a lot to me that you read my post and are leaving a comment - you just made my day!