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An LGBTQ-owned auto shop’s crowdfunding campaign to raise funeral and medical expenses for people harmed in last weekend’s Club Q shooting raised nearly $750,000 in just three days — an amazing feat considering that the campaign was launched just three days ago and had originally sought only $25,000.
Faith Haug — co-owner of auto shop Good Judy Garage in Sheridan, Colorado — said she couldn’t find anywhere to donate in support of the shooting’s victims. So she started a fundraiser herself, which makes sense considering that a “Good Judy” is slang for a helpful queer person. Haug runs the business with her partner CC.
“As a queer-owned business, the LGBTQA+ community has embraced us and allowed us to be here to serve them,” the GoFundMe states. “It is our duty to help the community that has supported us.”
Even though the garage has less than 4,000 social media followers, its fundraiser quickly went viral. When this article was written, the campaign had already received over 18,700 donations totaling $737,391 (and counting).
One donor named Sonya Murphy wrote, “It could have been my kid, her girlfriend, their friends, my coworker’s son… Thanks for organizing, my heart breaks for everyone involved and the entire LGBTQIA+ Community,” Business Insider reported.
Haug told the publication that even though $737,000 sounds like “an astronomical amount of money… it really isn’t,” especially since funerals and medical bills can cost up to six figures. When you multiply that by five deceased victims and 25 injured people, the help fund could quickly go dry.
The garage has retained legal counsel and will set up a trust fund to distribute funds directly to the victims. The trust will be managed by a local attorney who is a member of the LGBTQ community, Haug says, and housed at a bank recognized by the Human Rights Campaign.
Haug also said that the lawyer is in the process of figuring out how to most effectively distribute the funds so that they don’t prevent victims from receiving any additional aid or low-income benefits. They expect the process will take about two weeks before it can start issuing payments.
The fund will remain open indefinitely.