March 26, 2014 7:55 pm
Updated: March 27, 2014 8:57 am

Crowdfunding popularity grows but is it a good thing?

Watch above: while crowdfunding grows in popularity, worthwhile causes may be getting lost in the shuffle

SASKATOON – “Crowdfunding” has become a popular option for those trying to raise money for their cause, but are some worthy causes being lost in the shuffle as a result?

Last month, Global News interviewed eight-year-old Jaden Halliday who was in need of a new heart after being diagnosed with a rare disorder.

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“We have to go all the way to Edmonton, that’s the worst part of getting a heart right now,” said Halliday.

In response, a family friend set up a crowdfunding page on fundrazr.com to help raise donations for the family.

Other crowdfunding causes may be questionable, you be the judge?

This week, Global News also received an email regarding Jason Bartlett from as far away as Rhode Island, U.S.

“I’m fundraising for my top surgery which is basically a mastectomy for trans-guy’s to get their breasts off,” said Bartlett.

So far, Bartlett has raised more than half of his goal of $7,805 to cover the surgery, which is not covered by his insurance.

Money, he says, has come from the kindness of strangers from around the world after his family disowned him. He says his surgery couldn’t come soon enough and he tried to commit suicide several times prior to this decision.

“Just so that I cannot be depressed anymore and feel more comfortable in my own skin and more likely I just want to be on a beach shirtless and feel how I feel on the inside,” said Bartlett.

In an effort to be as transparent as possible, Bartlett says he will provide medical records to those who ask. He was the first person in Rhode Island to get his gender changed on his birth certificate without having had the surgery first, at the age of 17.

His cause can be found on gofundme.com which presents endless options for a person to donate to.

A page on this site has also been created for a Saskatchewan family to help cover legal fees after Eugene Krawchuk was found guilty on two counts last week, including the shooting and killing of his neighbour’s dog.

A Saskatoon IT expert says Internet crowdfunding is without a doubt gaining in popularity.

“I think it can be for a very worthy cause and it can actually benefit a great many people,” said Chad Jones, CEO of College Mobile.

Jones admits with it being so mainstream, it may also come at a cost to some.

“As it’s becoming a bigger part of our society I think the abuses in it are starting to grow,” said Jones.

Even among those causes, some might find them questionable.

“The people that supported it still thought it was worthy right,” said Jones.

Concerned over possible crowdfunding scams, he advises people do their homework before donating.

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