Bullied Bus Monitor Now $700,000 Richer Thanks To Indiegogo Campaign

By Megan O'Neill 

The life of 68-year old bus monitor Karen Klein changed forever when a video of her being bullied by schoolchildren went viral.  After seeing the video on Facebook, redditor Max Sidorov started an Indiegogo campaign in order to raise just enough money for Klein to go on a fabulous (and much-needed) vacation.  Just over a month later the campaign has closed, leaving Klein with $703,873!

Klein told the National Post that she plans to use the huge payday to retire, as well as to help others.  “I want to save some, I want to invest in some things to make it grow, and donate to a couple of groups that I have in mind,” she said.  The groups she plans to donate to include organizations for special needs kids, as Klein has a grandson with autism and a granddaughter with Down syndrome, so the cause is very close to her heart.

Of course, in addition to donating and investing, Klein is busy taking the requisite vacation that the campaign was planned for.  She has been to Hawaii, plans to go on a cruise and travel the continental US, and is looking forward to a Tim McGraw concert in New Orleans.

Klein and Sidorov, who was responsible for the campaign, have gotten to know each other as well.  Sidorov says, “We chat on the phone, we send each other texts, we’re good friends now.  I just hope that the money makes her happy.  It really warms my heart to know that there’s so many great people out there.”  The picture below, from Lori Coleman, Light+Ink, was taken when the two first met at Klein’s home in Greece, NY.

The story has also inspired a campaign to raise money for Sidorov, ‘Love for Max Sidorov too’.  The campaign was created by Case Prince, one of Sidorov’s buddies, who says, “I feel Max deserves a small reward himself.”  It raised $7,465.

Indiegogo CEO and Co-Founder Slava Rubin says, “Indiegogo is so happy for Karen and her family.  To imagine this was all done with one person’s call to action, to generate more awareness around an issue he was passionate about – bullying.  Indiegogo is proud to have been a part of this amazing campaign which saw contributions from 84 countries and all 50 states and DC. Indiegogo’s mission is to be the platform for anyone, anywhere, anytime, to raise money for anything, and this truly shows how powerful the democratization of fundraising can be.”

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.