KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Social media is fueling questions about a fundraising effort for Keaton Jones and his family after a viral video concerning bullying.
The New Jersey man who started a GoFundMe for the Jones family has now frozen the account after getting more than $56,000 in donations.
On Wednesday, Kimberly Jones, Keaton’s mom, released a statement about GoFundMe accounts to our sister station, WATE.
“My family has no intentions of collecting any money from any GoFund Me. I would ask that any money collected through the kindness of strangers, be given to one or more verified anti-bullying campaigns or foundations in an effort to raise awareness, and give help to all victims of bullying.”
The creator of the account, Joseph Lam, posted on the site saying, “I can’t even say for sure that any of what’s being said is true. I don’t know the family personally and never claimed to have known them. This is about a kid who’s been bullied and not just one kid, Keaton. There are many unspoken cases about kids being bullied. We have to be the voice for the voiceless.”
Lam went on to say he hopes to establish a college fund for Keaton and perhaps donate the rest to other children who have been victims of bullying. There’s also a link for anyone who wants a refund.
The GoFundMe and Keaton’s story in general caught the attention of MMA fighter Joe Schilling.
He posted a video to social media saying he spoke with Keaton’s mother, who allegedly told him she was only interested in making money from the situation.
Keaton’s sister, who has been vocal on Twitter, posted Schilling had a conversation with someone posing as her mother, saying, “She has a private Instagram and hasn’t talked to anyone. We haven’t received any money and don’t plan on it. The GoFundMes aren’t by any of us.”
Schilling’s Instagram video and posts about the Jones family have been deleted and many are calling on him to apologize or retract his statements.