A woman who was verbally abused by a group of kids on a school bus last year is now using her newfound fame--and cash--to do some good.
Karen Klein was working as a bus monitor in New York when a group of teenage boys began bullying her, making fun of her hearing aid and body before taking things to a terrible low.
"You don't have a family because they all killed themselves because they don't want to be near you," one boy said. Klein's son committed suicide several years ago.
The entire incident was caught on video by a student on the bus and uploaded onto YouTube, where it quickly went viral. Soon, Max Siderov of Toronto, Canada saw the video and made it his mission to do something about it. Not only did he post her story on Indiegogo.com--thereby spreading the word about the boys' awful behavior and effectively getting apologies out of them--he asked for donations to help send Karen on a dream vacation. He initially went for $5,000; what he ended up with was $703,873, enough for Karen to retire and start doing some good of her own.
So far, Klein has used $100,000 of the money to start the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation, which raises awareness about bullying and has sent her all over the country to concerts and events. She's also partnered with the Moscow Ballet to raise awareness about cyber-bullying. She says a big lesson she's learned in the year since the video made her famous is that there are still kind people left in the world.
"There's a lot of nice people out there, I have learned that," Klein said. "And to ignore the negative people."
Klein hasn't done much for herself with the money that was raised on her behalf, but says she'll put away a big chunk of it for her retirement and may buy an R.V. She has, however, helped out family with the money, and that mentality is part of what made supporters on Indiegogo so eager to help.
“I think people love to support those in need and stand up for the little guy,” Max Siderov told WebProNews. “This has made me very happy with all the support and caring coming her way…that is the least they can do for her.”