A triple-amputee veteran was on the mission to make President Donald Trump’s campaign promise of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border come true as he gained over $20 million on his “We The People Will Build the Wall” GoFundMe page.
However, the more than 339,000 contributors now have the option to either receive a refund or to forward their donation.
Brian Kolfage created the private fundraiser because he was “tired of watching the U.S. government’s inability to secure our southern border,” he wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Like most Americans, I see the porous southern border as a national security threat and I refuse to allow our broken political system to leave my family and my country vulnerable to attack.”
The war hero’s fundraiser gained a lot of attention as there were millions in donations just days after its creation, as IJR Red reported.
Since Kolfage wasn’t able to meet his goal of $1 billion in hopes of donating the money to the federal government, GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithone told BuzzFeed that “all donors will receive a refund.”
That didn’t stop Kolfage, as he has now created the private nonprofit 501(c)4 called “We Build the Wall, Inc” to make sure the wall would get built, but donators “must proactively elect to redirect their donation to that organization. If they do not take that step, they will automatically receive a full refund,” Whithorne said.
In a press release, a spokesperson said:
Heartened by the overwhelming support of fellow Americans who have donated over $20 million to the viral GoFundMe campaign “We the People Will Fund the Wall,” war hero and triple-amputee veteran Brian Kolfage announced the launch of a 501(c)4 called “We Build the Wall, Inc.” which will fund the private construction of a wall along the United States’ Southern Border.
“The federal government won’t be able to accept our donations anytime soon,” Kolfage wrote on the GoFundMe page. “We are better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border.”
We are building the wall! We have the dream team of our nations most powerful builders and national security experts….
In the press release, Kolfage promised that he will not take a “penny” of the donations for the wall:
“We are grateful for the President’s steadfast commitment to border security, the single most important issue plaguing our country. Rather than subsidizing the federal government, which has betrayed the American people by obstructing President Donald Trump’s agenda, ‘We Build the Wall’ is taking the President’s signature campaign promise into our own hands. I personally will not take a penny of compensation from these donations incurred in the furtherance of this mission.”
The private organization has elected a board of directors and worked with a team of advisers.
Trump and Congress are heading into the longest shutdown in history going into its 22nd day, as the president continues to feud with Democrats over his proposed $5.7 billion for border wall funding and border security.
After visiting the southern border on Thursday, the president said he has “100 percent” kept in mind the furloughed workers during the shutdown, but he also supports the families who’ve been affected by illegal immigration, as IJR Red reported.
The shutdown has affected 800,000 government workers.
The timing of when the shutdown will end is unsure, but the president recently said he would not declare a national emergency “right now.”
“The easy solution is for me to call a national emergency. I could do that very quickly,” President Trump said on Friday. “I have the absolute right to do it. But I’m not going to do it so fast. Because this is something Congress should do.”