Online spongers put the 'I' into charity

FRASER Coast residents are logging on to a crowd-funding website with ridiculous requests - to pay for a honeymoon, a divorce and even a late night McDonald's order.

Among the desperate requests for urgent medical procedures and other legitimate causes are outlandish appeals for the region to open its wallets.

That includes one Hervey Bay man who wanted $30 to fund his Maccas home delivery.

He posted to the site saying he needed to be able to pay online and asking people to donate money.

Other requests for funding included a passport, a new car, help paying bills and a wedding.

A friend of a man who had left his partner set up a page to raise funds for his divorce and a celebration afterwards, attracting $40 in donations so far.

There are more than 40 requests on Go Fund Me for the Fraser Coast, of which about a dozen fall into the questionable category.

In among more serious requests was a man hoping to raise $12,000 for a new mower for his business.

The man said he had recently had to retire his second ride-on mower and wished to purchase another one for his mowing service.

"Ideally, I would need the required funds as soon as possible, as so not to interrupt my business functions," he wrote.

Two young women want you to donate $1200 so they can meet up with their Swedish friend in Melbourne next year.

A girl has asked for $5000 in order to purchase a camera as she has always wanted to be a photographer.

Another person wants $10,000 so he can rebuild a Holden HQ ute, stating that he was 18-years-old and had wanted to restore a car from the ground up "since I can remember".

Go Fund Me takes a 5% fee from every donation.

Donna Harris, whose son Aedan has cerebral palsy, said it was unfortunate to see people attempting to raise funds to buy a car or pay for a wedding when other causes were much more worthwhile.

"That was one of the reasons we didn't use Go Fund Me," Donna said.

"When we were looking at fundraising for Aedan, we wanted to go through a legitimate source."

Donna and her husband Cameron chose the Developing Foundation.

Thanks to the generosity of the charity and people and businesses throughout the Fraser Coast, Aedan's family was able to purchase a new wheelchair for their son.

It means his family will also be able to do ongoing fundraising and get support as Aedan gets older and his needs change.

"There are so many people in genuine need," Donna said.

She said the donations made to Aedan ensured he was able to have a full and meaningful life.

"We just want to give Aedan the best that is available," she said.

Donna said she had seen some "really odd things" on the Go Fund Me site.

"Some of the things really raise your eyebrows.

Fraser Coast Councillor George Seymour said it was important for people to be cautious when it came to donating their money.

"I think people are smart enough to differentiate," he said.

"I encourage people to check it out and think about going through Rotary or the Lions Club if they want to make a donation."