July 18, 2013 2:22 pm
Updated: July 18, 2013 3:57 pm

Gawker to donate ‘Crackstarter’ money to 4 Toronto non-profits

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford pictured in his City Hall office in December 2010.

John R. Kennedy / Global News

TORONTO – The American website Gawker has announced the almost $200,000 it raised in a crowdsourcing fund dubbed ‘Crackstarter’ to buy an alleged video of Toronto’s mayor will go to four non-profit organizations.

Gawker will be splitting up the funds between The Somali Canadian Association of Etobicoke, The South Riverdale Community Health Center, Unison Health and Community Services and the Ontario Regional Addictions Partnership Committee.

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Michelle Joseph, CEO of the Union Health and Community Services said her organization was contacted by editor of Gawker.com John Cook recently to donate the money.

“It will be a great help. There’s not a lot of resources these days,” Joseph said. “So it’s great to get a donation that you can use to enhance your services. It’s very difficult to get additional resources.”

The money will go to education and help for drug users and harm reductions tools like safe smoking kits and clean needles to reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis.

The Somali Canadian Association of Etobicoke was told Thursday morning that their organization would be receiving some money.

“We’re very pleased, very happy to see. We’ve been trying to help these youth and as you may be aware of it all levels of government have cut funding from organizations trying to help these youth,” Osman Ali, executive director of the Somali Canadian Association in Etobicoke said in a telephone interview Thursday.

Ali said the organization will be using the money to hire an extra youth worker.

Each charity is expected to get $46,195.65, a little less than the initial amount split four ways because of feeds from IndieGoGo, which hosted the crowdsourcing campaign, and PayPal, which processed the payment. IndieGoGo withheld $8,047.96 and Paypal withheld $8,368.43 reducing the total amount fundraised to $184,782.61.

Gawker raised $201,199 in an effort to buy a purported video of someone matching Mayor Rob Ford’s appearance smoking what could be crack cocaine.

Global News has not seen the video and cannot verify its authenticity.

And the mayor has called the allegations “ridiculous” and in a press conference claimed he does not use crack cocaine, nor is he addicted to the drug.

Cook wrote in a post published Thursday that the website will not be receiving the video.

© 2013 Shaw Media

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