The 9-year-old bullied boy's family wants to focus on the issue at hand and donate to charities raising awareness about bullying and dwarfism.
The family of bullied boy Quaden Bayles has declined a trip to Disneyland and has decided to donate the raised amount to charity instead. The 9-year-old became a global sensation after his mother Yarraka Bayles uploaded a heartwrenching video of her son in a bid to raise awareness about bullying. Bayles, who has the most common type of dwarfism called achondroplasia, could be heard saying, "Give me a rope, I want to kill myself. I just want to stab myself in the heart... I want some-one to kill me." This heartbreaking plea didn't go unnoticed by several celebrities who rallied together to show their love and support for him.
Comedian Brad Williams, who also has dwarfism, was one of many who couldn't overlook the distressing plight that was Bayles' life. After coming across his story, Williams decided to do something for the boy. Hoping to gift Quaden and his mother a trip to Disneyland in California, Williams set up a GoFundMe account to raise $10,000. "This isn’t just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren’t good enough. Let’s show Quaden and others, that there is good in the world and they are worthy of it," he wrote on the fundraiser's page.
Revealing the distribution of the amount, Willaims continued, "I have been in touch directly with Quaden’s mother. So I will have their information to book the flights. Funds raised will be spent on two airplane tickets for Quaden and his mother from Australia to Los Angeles. As well as providing a hotel, food, and tickets to Disneyland Park in Anaheim for multiple days. After all the flights, hotel, tickets, and food is paid for, any excess money will be donated to anti-bullying/anti-abuse charities."
Over 20,000 generous strangers helped raise over $474,000. However, on Thursday, Bayles' family turned down the trip and expressed that they'd rather use the money to combat pressing issues like bullying. Speaking to NITV, Quaden's Aunt Mundanara Bayles said, "What kid wouldn't want to go to Disneyland, especially if you have lived Quaden's life. To escape to anywhere that is fun that doesn't remind him of his day to day challenges. But my sister said 'you know what, let's get back to the real issue'. This little fella has been bullied. How many suicides, black or white, in our society have happened due to bullying."
Furthermore, she revealed how they would like the money to be used. "We want the money to go to community organizations that really need it. They know what the money should be spent on, "so as much as we want to go to Disneyland, I think our community would far off benefit from that." The family has chosen Dwarfism Awareness Australia, and Balunu Healing Foundation to be the two organizations that are to be benefited by the donated money. "We need to come together and work out how to make sure young people like Quaden don't have to deal with what they have been dealing with. We've had seven kids at the Murri School in Brisbane, where I am on the board, take their lives in the last ten years," she added.
Taking to the GoFundMe Page Williams posted an update intimating the donors about the family's change of heart. Thanking everyone who had selflessly donated to this cause, he explains how he campaign will still be used to fight the impact of bullying and discrimination. "I’ve decided that the donations will be best served going to charities focused on helping individuals affected by bullying and discrimination, including approximately $66,000 USD ($100,000 AUD) to each of the following: Born This Way Foundation, STOMP Out Bullying, Dolly’s Dream, Dwarfism Awareness Australia, Gallang Place, and Balunu Foundation."
It further notes, "Since the family has kindly declined going to Disneyland, all remaining funds will go to Quaden Bayles for direct medical help, education, accommodation costs, food to feed the family, and donating to any additional charities of his choosing." Although their plans seem quite generous, they could be facing a minor hindrance as the fundraiser's rules strictly state that the funds raised on the page must be "used solely for the purpose stated" and that "under no circumstances may you use the funds for any other purpose."
In reference to the same, Williams wrote, "If you preferred that your donation would be used to send Quaden to Disneyland and would like a refund, please contact the GoFundMe Customer Happiness team (https://bit.ly/383h679) directly. Refund requests will be honored until 11:59 PM PST on March 12, 2020." The update concluded with, "Bullies never win, and this fundraising effort shows that when bullies attack, communities stand proudly for what's right. Thank you for being a part of this global community of kind and awesome human beings."