This article was originally published in Fall 2002 but revised in June 2003 and May 2004.
When I first heard about the “SaveKaryn.com” website, I thought ‘Wow! I gotta do a story on this… people are just giving away their cash!’ I then realized that I would be giving these people more publicity than I cared to and reminded myself that I don’t like to spotlight dumb people.
After thinking it over during the past little while and seeing so many of these sites popping up, I decided to write about them. Here’s the latest info on the newest trend in websites and, I suppose, philanthropy: Cyber begging.
How Cyber Begging Works
It goes something like this: Someone makes a website saying that they are in need of financial assistance and explain why. They subsequently provide an address and people send them various amounts of money.
From what I can tell, they seem to be getting other items as well. For example, Karyn received an eraser to erase her debt.
Karyn was the first to get ‘famous’ by putting together a fairly detailed website. She explains how she got into debt (she tends to overspend and use her credit cards like crazy) and visitors to her website can help her get out of her $20,000 debt (donate and she’ll thank you on one of her pages).
She also provides regular updates regarding her financial situation. She has appeared on TV (the Today Show among others) and apparently been offered book and movie deals. Unreal, I swear!
…Karyn received an eraser to erase her debt…
Who is Responsible?
Actually, the real question is, who is IRresponsible? And the answer is: most of THESE people! I mean, why should other hard working people who have a heart and pay for these poor saps who don’t know how to manage their cash flow? I am willing to bet they are more irresponsible than the average person and tend to be self-centered. On the other hand, I applaud their guts for doing this!
But these people probably aren’t such ‘nice’ people, given that although many requested to be listed on this page, many couldn’t be bothered to thank me on their website or put a link to this page, even though they informed me that they were receiving visitors that I had sent them.
Moreover, they are expecting something for nothing and many don’t even bother to keep their websites updated which is insulting. The website goes up, they plan to announce weekly contributions and do so for a while but when money only trickles in, they stop. Well, it’s no wonder many of these sites aren’t getting any financial aid.
Parodies and Novelties
Like any and all successful trends, especially in a free country, there are bound to be imitators. I must say that people have adapted the idea to their own needs quite creatively.
Michel (Michelle) from giveboobs.com received the $4,500 she wanted to get breast implants. Visitors to her website paid for her breast implants because there are enough guys out there who gladly support that kind of thing. In any case, I received an email from her a while back… not too much going on upstairs from what I can tell so maybe she can fake her way through life for a while. Never forget that beauty fades but dumb is forever.
Angela is a graduate student and single mom who needed some financial help (her site is gone). Since Jessica (LendMeABuck.com) was brave enough to provide pictures, I suppose she merits some sort of compensation. Penny wants to get divorced and offered a picture of her on her website that sadomasochists loved! (The site is now gone)
Maggie needs help with her Trigeminal Neuralgia medical bills (Save Maggie – website now gone) which is a noble goal. Maybe if the price of health care in the United States wasn’t so ridiculous, she wouldn’t have to make this kind of site. In any case, at least she appears to have good intentions.
Anyways, the list goes on and I’m sure we’ll be seeing even more of these as word spreads. Just about everyone could use more money so there won’t be a shortage of the sites anytime soon.
In the End…
Sending strangers cash for their supposed problems is kind of hypocritical. Just because they have a website doesn’t mean they are legit. Cyber begging and cyber beggars are sure to continue over the next few years although the fad will likely die off. Perhaps if more people aimed their benevolence at more local causes, the world might be a better place.
Finally, one thing that has impressed me about Karyn is that she got out of debt in November 2002 and has decided to give her extra income to others who she feels are in need.
The send-me-money sites that went bankrupt!
The send-me-money sites range from credit card debt, medical and school bills, saving homes and families, to paying for dates, breast implants, and divorces. Not surprisingly, there are lots of others springing up all the time and believe it or not, the list above is only a partial one! On the other hand, it seems that the majority of these sites come and go quite quickly in most cases because they aren’t making any moolah. Sites that were once listed here as being active but have since quietly disappeared…
Save Karyn Not (a couple raising money for charities)
Save Kristen (the site is not asking for $ anymore)
A mom in desperate need of your help (Rebecca Vasquez)
Send David to College (ditto, and the site has changed) Save Mike and Dave
Save Nicki and Her Daughter
Don’t Save Karyn (a parody of the original)
Help Shannon Make His First Film
Help a couple and their dog
Help Send My Daughter to College
Save Kristin, Deb, another Deb, Debbie, Mike, Dave, BG, and lots of others!!
Save Lisa (123SaveMe.com)
Save a Grad Student
Help Brian with Paramedic School (No relationship to CitynetMagazine)
Rescue a Social Worker
Help a Cancer Victim
Help Raquel with College
For Gina who was murdered
Help Kristin in College
Help Chris Date Hot Women
Help 4 Jen Who Wants a Yurt