The family of the Quaden Bayles, an Australian boy whose video recently went viral, has turned down money that was raised for the nine-year-old to travel to Disneyland, and will instead donate the funds to various charitable institutions.
Multiple celebrities rallied to support Bayles after a heartbreaking video of the boy crying due to bullying in school went viral. Among them was American comedian named Brad Williams, who like Bayles has achondroplasia, a common form of dwarfism.
Williams started a crowdfunding campaign to raise AUD 150,000 ($10,000) to send Bayles to Disneyland. In a week, over 20,000 donors from across the globe raised over AUD 723,000 ($474,000).
However, on Thursday the family announced that it was declining the money for a trip to Disneyland.
— NITV (@NITV) February 27, 2020
Speaking to Australian media outlet NITV News, the boy’s aunt Mundanara Bayles said that while the crowdfunding was a touching example of goodwill, they were turning down the trip to focus on the wider issue of bullying.
“We want the money to go to community organisations that really need it. They know what the money should be spent on, So as much as we want to go to Disneyland, I think our community would far off benefit from that,” she said.
Following the interview, Williams updated the page dedicated to raising funds and said that six charitable organisations “focused on helping individuals affected by bullying and discrimination” will receive a donation of AUD 100,000 each. The rest would go to Bayles for “direct medical help, education, accommodation costs, food to feed the family, and donating to any additional charities of his choosing.”
Williams also said that people who would like a refund, given the funds were no longer funding a trip to Disneyland, can do so till March 12.
However, despite the update people have continued to donate, prompting Williams and the Bayles family to thank people for their love and support.
“Bullies never win, and this fundraising effort shows that when bullies attack, communities stand proudly for what’s right. Thank you for being a part of this global community of kind and awesome human beings,” Williams wrote.
— SBS News (@SBSNews) February 22, 2020
After the video went viral, Bayles was invited to lead out the National Rugby League’s Indigenous All Stars team for their match against the Maori All-Stars. He also was offered courtside tickets to an NBA game and a mixed martial arts masterclass in Singapore.
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