HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - There are more than 300 GoFundMe accounts set for people here in the Grand Strand asking for donations for everything to help with college tuition, abroad trips, and medical expenses.
With the help of social media, online donating is a lot easier but it can also be gamble.
For Sally and Stephen Schaffer, time together means everything. Stephen Schaffer, a Marine Corp/Army veteran was diagnosed with lung cancer back in 2013. His radiation treatments suddenly stopped working then just recently the couple was dealt even more devastating news. "They told us they had found more than 20 cancerous tumors all over his brain," said Schaffer's wife, Sally.
"Yeah I have my good days and I have bad days but I just keep fighting," Stephen Schaffer said. Consumed with more financial debt than they can handle and living on fixed income, the Schaffers say they needed help.
The family says they rely on donations. "He needs the treatment, we'll get the money somehow, and that's how we decided to go with GoFundMe," Sally Schaffer said.
When it comes to crowdfunding sites, not everyone may be aware of the money trail. According to Kathy Graham with the Better Business Bureau of Coastal Carolina, "If you stay local you have a better chance of making sure that you are giving to the appropriate person."
"Do your research, verify a charity is legit through give.org," Graham added. She also suggests reading the fine print before donating, look for credit card fees, and processing fees. Graham says filter out those who want your money from those who truly need it. "It's frustrating, very frustrating. I dont know how some who scam can sleep at night," Sally Schaffer said.
Many of the crowdfunding sites have payment processors and systems in place to catch and deter fraudulent activity.
GoFundMe says because crowdfunding leaves such a robust paper trail of the account holder's activity, fraud is very rare on their site.
To donate to the Schaffer's go fund me account click here for the link.