Daily Mail - Strangers from across the country have raised more than $48,000 to keep a student at Vanderbilt University after her mother committed suicide and her father lost his job.
Cassie Wessely, 19, from Grayslake, Illinois, was left $24,000 short for the upcoming school year – despite a summer job, savings, a scholarship, a student loan and financial aid from the school. So last week, out of desperation, she created a GoFundMe page to try to raise $25,000 to ensure she could return to the college for her second year.
After just three days, it had raised more than $6,000 and now it has topped $48,000 as nearly 1,000 people from across the country donate amounts between $5 and $100.
‘There are really no words to say how thankful I am,’ she told Today. ‘When I saw $5 donations, I knew that was from people who didn’t have the money to give, but they gave anyway.’
On the page, Wessely explains that her mother, Karen Peregrin Wessely, had residential custody of her when she graduated from high school. Her mother was unemployed and her financial aid at Vanderbilt was determined by her income. But just three weeks before the teen headed to college, her mother killed herself. Wessely explained to Today that her mother had struggled with her brother’s death from an overdose five years prior.
With the donations already far exceeding her target, she said she will put the extra money towards paying for her junior and senior years. She plans on leaving the fundraiser up until school starts on August 20.
‘It is overwhelming, but in a good way,’ she told The Tennessean. ‘It was just so touching, and I’m so grateful and I was so blown away by it all.’
For as big of an absolute asshole the internet can be (and trust me, Barstool writers know it more than anybody), it never ceases to amaze me how fucking awesome it can be. How random strangers can just donate money for people they’ve never met and never will meet because their story touched them. Danny getting literally truckloads of birthday cards, Vanderbilt girl going through tragedy after tragedy getting her tuition paid. World might not be as fucked up as we think.