IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - It should come at no surprise that economic uncertainty suppresses giving, however 2020 has shown that people are motivated to give during times of a crisis. Danny Perrone of Idaho Falls has experienced this first hand after his family and friends raised over $6K through a GoFundMe campaign to purchase him a new specialized wheelchair.
"It's really exciting to see that because times have been tough for everyone and so it's really really incredible to see all the people that have wanted to donate to me and help me get my body back on track and getting back to healthy." Danny said.
Danny was diagnosed with Spina Bifida as a child, which led to paralysis and brain injuries. He's had over 60 surgeries and the latest has been the hardest to heal from. It left a wound on his lower back that can't heal due to his wheelchair.
"The doctors do not want him on his rear more than a couple spread out hours a day." his mom Gwendolyn Perrone said. "This is extremely difficult for a young man who spends most of the time in the hospital already."
Because of people's generosity, Danny is closer to getting a wheelchair that allows him to stand.
Danny is one of many people who've had medical expenses covered through donations. More than $650 million are raised through GoFundMe fundraisers ever year for medical expenses. But it's not just medical needs that are being fulfilled. In GoFundMe's 2020 giving report they said "Throughout the hardships of 2020, we've seen an extraordinary outpouring of generosity from a global community that's united by a desire to take action and help others."
This is backed by the recently released Q2 Report from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) that shows giving in the first half of 2020 has increased by 7.5% compared to the previous year. The same report shows the number of gifts of less than $250 increased by 19.2%, showing that large corporations aren't the ones causing the overall increase in giving. In Danny's case, many of the donations shown on his GoFundMe campaign show majority of the donations range from $10 - $50 at a time.
"There is a high grassroots response to the current need and based on survey data, we've found the more people are concerned about things like COVID-19 the more likely they are to give," explained Woodrow Rosenbaum, Chief Data Officer of GivingTuesday. "Expressing generosity--whether through acts of kindness, volunteering, or charitable donations--gives people agency, allowing them to feel hope and connection in a time that many have felt hopeless and disconnected.