GoFundMe made a generous donation to a suburban Chicago family who claimed the crowdfunding website previously did not make their donation page available to the public because the photo of their ill premature baby was deemed offensive.
A $10,000 donation appeared on the GoFundMe page for baby Jacob Hinks from "The GFM Team" on Sunday. The message with the donation read, "Sending Baby Jacob and the Hinks family healthy and safe wishes."
GoFundMe also featured baby Jacob's page on their homepage at www.gofundme.com.
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"This campaign reflects the importance of friends and family, and sometimes even strangers, when families need help the most," Kelsea Little, GoFundMe's media director, said in a statement. "We are happy to help the Hinks family in their time of need, just as thousands of other people do every day on GoFundMe."
According to the Hinks family, Jacob's fundraising page was originally only accessible to those who had a direct link, making it difficult to raise the needed funds to help offset the mounting medical expenses that come with his condition.
Jacob was born 13 weeks early at just 1.5 pounds. His condition was initially listed as “grim,” but has since been upgraded to “guarded” following at least one surgery and numerous complications.
When the organizer of the page, a close family friend, contacted GoFundMe, he or she claimed the popular crowdfunding website said the photo of the baby was "graphic" and may be offensive to some viewers.
"They responded right away and said, 'Unfortunately, we never published it because your son's image (was) too graphic and too inappropriate for our viewers to look at," Jacob's mother, Christina Hinks, said.
Jacob's parents said they were heartbroken by the company's decision. They claimed Jacob had no open wounds in the photos, only tubes and wires. According to a post on the fundraising page, GoFundMe suggested using a photo of the baby and his parents side by side, but the Hinks say they only have one photo like this because Jacob has been too sick for them to hold him.
"Go Fund Me had requested that we put a more 'appropriate' picture of Jacob (less tubes, etc) because they have sensitive viewers," a post published Sunday reads. "This baby is FOR REAL."
Once the Hinks family changed the photo, the page went public and donations began to pour in.