GoFundMe for teacher’s family raises over $215,000

Following the death of Greene Middle School teacher Kyle Hart, a GoFundMe campaign has raised over $215,000, as of Monday morning. The campaign began as a way to support Hart’s family and has since gained an outpouring of support. “I have just been blown away by all the ways in which Kyle [Hart] touched people’s lives,” organizer Jen Koepnick said. “Especially with students, being a favorite teacher, and even parents loving and caring about him.”

A GoFundMe page created to support the family of Greene Middle School teacher Kyle Hart, who died last week, has surpassed $215,000 in donations as of Monday morning.

Following Hart’s death after officers of the Redwood City Police Department responded to his house following an attempted suicide, family friends started the page last week on crowdfunding platform GoFundMe. The campaign supports his wife, two-year-old son and newborn daughter, according to the page. Organizer Jen Koepnick said the donation is a way for friends and community members to make “a difference from a distance.”

The campaign began Tuesday with a goal of raising $25,000; however, within the same day, the goal was exceeded by almost double. Koepnick said she was surprised by the number of donors who continue to support the campaign.

“I wanted to just see how many donations had been made in the last half an hour, and when I counted them, by the time I finished counting the number of donations, two more people had donated,” Koepnick said.

The goal has since been updated to $250,000, and donations are continuing to pour in.

The campaign is featured as a top fundraiser on GoFundMe’s homepage. Part of its success can be attributed to the wide range of people who responded to the fundraiser, both inside and outside of the Bay Area. Donations such as those from alumni of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Hart’s alma mater, poured in as well.

“So many people knew the Harts,” Koepnick said. “They have reached so many different groups of people.”

A celebration of life was held yesterday in Los Altos. Instead of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Redwood City Magical Bridge Playground, according to the GoFundMe page.

The page has also generated a conversation about mental health. According to Koepnick, some donors shared that they were now willing to get help and talk about mental health conditions.

“If anything, I mean this is unbelievably tragic and I would never ever wish this in a million years,” Koepnick said. “However, since we are in this situation I am happy to see that people are coming together and talking more.”

The link to the GoFundMe page is available here.