Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Less than two weeks ago, not many people knew the name Karen Klein. Now, because of a YouTube video depicting four obnoxious adolescents on a school bus, hundreds of millions around the world are familiar with the 68-year-old bullied bus aide from the Rochester suburb of Greece.
An internet fundraising campaign seeking $5,000 to send her on a nice vacation has turned into an incredible outpouring of generosity, growing to more than $650,000 and counting. Herein lies a quandary for Ms. Klein: What should she do with all that money?
There’s a good chance that every move Klein makes will be scrutinized. If she spends the money, some may perceive Klein as taking profit from her misery. Some may object if she were to donate it to charity or start up her own anti-bullying organization.
The editorial board here recently discussed different scenarios for 20 minutes and we could not reach a consensus.
Should Klein do whatever she wants with the money, or should she use it on herself per the wishes of those who have donated? Is the money hers to do whatever she wants because it was given to her? Since she is a bullying victim, would donors object less to the idea of Klein herseff donating to anti-bullying causes? Should she only accept the original goal of the drive — $5,000 — and return the rest? Does it not matter because people continued to donate, even with the total exceeding 100 times the original goal?
There are plenty of scenarios, but is there one that would stand out as being the most satisfactory choice? One thing is for sure: Klein didn’t ask for this attention, nor did she ask for money. The fundraising campaign was created by a gentleman from Toronto.
According to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Klein would like to invest some of the funds raised for her, help her children financially and give some of the money to charity. The man who started the campaign plans to meet with Klein in Rochester today. Perhaps they will decide on what’s best.
In the meantime, we’re turning this topic over to you. What should Karen Klein do with the money? Let us know. E-mail our managing editor, email@example.com or send us a letter to the editor, Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, 170 East Avenue, Lockport, NY 14094.