Charity My gofundme situation and vegan activism

Ken Herlache

May 23, 2017
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Wisconsin, USA
  1. Vegan newbie

Hello vegan/vegetarian peoples and thank you for taking the time to read this :)

I’m currently running a GoFundMe because of a series of events that has pretty much set my life in a tailspin. It was a very difficult decision to ask for help from my friends and family, but I thought I could also turn it into an opportunity to do some good, which is why I’m appealing to the vegan community at large.

The situation that led me here started about a year ago with my decision to try and get out of debt by making more money (around 15/hr tipped) doing pizza delivery. This was great at first (with the exception of working with meat and dairy), but within a few months my car seized up completely, requiring very expensive repair work and leaving me without a job or the means to pay for the repair. Attempting to be ingenuitive and get through everything, I opted to have a family friend work on my car in exchange for payments toward the bill. In the meantime, I bought a cheap Ford Taurus to get me through.

Here is where things really got out of hand… after two months my car was still not fixed and the Taurus had broken down as well. I had already paid $800 for repair work when I was forced to sell the broken Taurus at a loss and hope my original car would be done soon. Again, it gets worse, the car is “worked on” for a total of 7 months and he only ever managed to break it further. In the time after the Taurus was sold, where I had no car at all, I was forced to get a job within walking distance of my house, but the hours were so limited it was impossible to get ahead.

During this entire time, my girlfriend has been covering our rent, our bills, our groceries, and her son’s daycare costs. It’s something that has been eating at me for a year now and contributes to severe anxiety and depression, making it all the harder to get out of this situation. With her covering everything we’ve had no extra income to keep our pantry stocked, go on family outings (unless they’re free), save money for Xavier’s future, etc.

This brings me to today, the point where Cami has been drawn so thin that we are not sure we’ll be able to make rent or our bills anymore. My car still needs to be fixed (by a real mechanic) and there are some accumulated bills that need to be paid up, any money donated will go toward that. With my car repaired I can work full-time again and get back on track.

This led me to the idea to create a tiered plan for vegan activism in my community around Northeast Wisconsin. The idea is that with each goal hit ($300, $600, .. $1,800 total) I would take extra time weekly or monthly to participate in another form of vegan activism. After each goal is met, I’ll post updates and photos on my progress and experiences. I really hope to make something of this and form an organized group of people to promote Veganism in Wisconsin, a place seriously devoid of any popular vegetarian culture. Between hunting seasons, our dairy farms, and our fishing of the Great Lakes, Wisconsin is in serious need of some compassion for animals.

When this idea first occurred to me, I cringed at the thought of asking for money to do volunteer work; After exploring so many other options, and coming down to the wire on rent and other bills that I’m behind on, I hope you can see that this won’t just be me trying to make money off of people. I’m seeing it as the only way to get my life back on track so that I can afford to volunteer my time. The activities and commitments listed below, and others like them, will be my ongoing future. For a bit more on this, I have a launch site for essays and articles I plan to write soon, again justifying time spent on this is hard to do right now. ( )

Thank you again for reading and considering my proposal.

Peace and Love,


Total Goal: $1,800.00 USD

Goal 1 - $300.00 - PAMPHLETING 1X PER WEEK
At this goal I will begin distributing pamphlets (like the ones by PETA and Vegan Outreach) at key locations around Green Bay, De Pere, and Appleton; such as local universities, shopping destinations, farmer’s markets, etc.

Goal 2 - $600.00 - INFO TABLE 2X PER MONTH + Previous Goals
When this goal is reached I will contact local schools, universities, businesses, and anywhere else that would allow me to host an information table. I’ll set up for the day and hand out pamphlets, engage in conversation, present infographics (think large, tri-fold cardboard style), and give out tasty vegan food.

Goal 3 - $900.00 - 12 WEEK CONSTRUCTIVE AD CAMPAIGN + Previous Goals
Before this mark is met, I’ll devise a 12 week plan to promote veganism in other ways from home. Ideas such as Facebook groups, contacting local politicians about animal practices, conducting petitions and surveys, providing reports to local restaurants about the popularity of veganism, etc. have all crossed my notepad. Once we reach the goal I’ll execute my plan.

Goal 4 - $1,200.00 - FORM N.E.W VEGAN ADVOCACY GROUP + Previous Goals
At this goal (the one I’m most excited for) I’ll network and attempt to form a group of people willing to join me in pamphleting, demonstrations, and other organized activism. I’ll utilize tools like Facebook, Meetup, LinkedIn, etc. to have twice-monthly meetings during which we can really dig in and plan some real action. With more people this whole endeavor will be much more effective and lasting.

Goal 5 - $1,500.00 - ORGANIZE A YEARLY VEGAN EVENT + Previous Goals
This goal may be a bit ambitious, but with a solid group of people I really believe it is do-able. The idea here is to reach out to anyone and everyone in the Green Bay, De Pere, Appleton, Oshkosh, and Door County areas that would want to donate to or participate in a vegan festival of sorts. Here people could meet other vegans, learn about the issues, eat delicious food, and have fun. There’s also the added benefit of attracting non-vegans that are curious, and gaining the attention of the larger community as a legitimate group.

Goal 6 - $1,800.00
At this point I will have my car fixed and have enough to get me through until I can land a full-time job again. With my finances stable I’ll be able to continue all of the programs and activities we started with this GoFundMe. This will also really help my family take that last little nudge to full veganism by replacing our care products and a few other horrible things. I will also owe you all eternal karma, so there’s that. Seriously, thank you so much
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