Father apologizes after launching a crowdfunding appeal for money to buy Christmas presents
A struggling father-of-five who asked people on the internet for $2,500 (£2,000) to pay for Christmas has apologised after being slammed by critics.
Ben Buckley, from west Hull, England, set up a GoFundMe page after fearing that he wouldn't have enough money to treat his family over the festive period. His appeal came after he reduced his working hours when his wife became ill during a troubled pregnancy.
However, after exceeding his target, he faced backlash from trolls who claimed that the sum he asked for was far too high.
On Facebook, one woman told the 32-year-old dad to "have some respect", writing: "This is making me soooo angry. We all struggle to do our best at Xmas but my god man have some respect for yourself and your family."
Another person on Twitter added: "Who spends £2000 on Christmas anyway? I cannot understand people donating when there are so many other worthy causes such as specialist wheelchairs for kids etc. He is a bad example to his kids...they will grow up greedy like him
#BenBuckley #Gofundme (sic)".
However, other people online defended the father, with one Twitter user writing: "Ben Buckley is a hard working loving family man who’s wife got sick, now what’s he supposed to do, just leave her & continue to work full time. He’s certainly not a scumbag. I’m glad the public raised the money for him for his kids to have a good christmas [sic]".
In response, Buckley has apologised "for any offence" and claimed he never expected to raise $2,500.
He said: "To all the people leaving negative comments I understand where you coming from and what your saying. I wouldn't of gone this route if I had other options I am embarrassed and I'm ashamed I don't for a second expect to raise £2000 I just put a figure in the box I'm sorry if I've upset and people that was never my intention (sic)."
Later on, in an update on his GoFundMe page, the warehouse worker added: "I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone, all your kind messages and donations have been overwhelmingly kind. I honestly can't thank you all enough my self and my family appreciate all your generosity enormously and it will never be forgotten.
"To everybody who posted negative comments we are sorry if we caused any offence or upset anyone, this was never our intention. we never expected this amount of kindness or media attention. In the new year we are going to make it one of our priorities to make monthly donations to other GoFundMe accounts. We wish everyone a very merry Christmas and thank you again to all you kind hearted souls [sic]".
While Buckey's partner was pregnant, there were fears that the child could have Downs Syndrome.
Fortunately, the couple's baby daughter, who was delivered two weeks ago, didn't end up having the genetic condition that typically causes some level of learning disability and certain physical characteristics. However, the father-of-five claims that his situation, as well as the campaign, has left him feeling "a lot of panic and anxiety".
"It feels embarrassing but I’ve never felt like going doing that (Crowdfunding) before. I’ve never done it before," he said. "It’s what I figured would make things comfortable. At the minute, what I have coming in covers surviving. I don’t like the feeling of being a charity case. I don’t like to feel like I’m begging."