I wanted to make the headline about the fact that there’s now a petition, I sh*t you not, to let bullied bus monitor Karen Klein collect her now $664,000 donation tax free. This isn’t Karen’s doing, and she’s mentioned several times that she doesn’t feel like she deserves the money, and that she’s going to make sure she pays taxes on it. So I didn’t want to put that on her. It does seem ridiculous when you consider how much money she’s getting.
Yesterday Karen met with the young Canadian guy who set up the indiegogo page raising money in her honor. Good Morning American had a segment that shows the two meeting at her home in Greece, NY. (Video is above.) As much as we’ve been saturated with this story, I found their interaction sweet and I still consider it heartwarming. Karen now says that she’s made up her mind to retire. She plans to make some home improvements with the money, along with donating to charities for disabilities that affect her family. Here’s more:
Karen Klein, 68, welcomed Max Sidorov into her Greece, New York home on Tuesday night to thank him for setting up the website asking for donations to send her on vacation, which will now change her life for good and even allow her to retire from her job on the school bus.
“Great. Great. Nice guy, nice guy. I’m very appreciative,” said Klein after the emotional meeting, reported Good Morning America.
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, four seventh grade boys from the Greece Central School District near Rochester, New York videoed their torment and then posted the shocking clip — which had more than 1.2 million YouTube hits in less than two days — showing a sobbing Klein being bombarded with insults about her weight, graphic sexual comments, threats, called poor, and then physically assaulted with a book.
Her guardian angel was inspired to help the grandmother of eight because he had been bullied himself once too. “I know how it feels, nobody should have to go through that, ever,” revealed the Toronto native. “If everyone gave each other support and kindness, none of this would ever happen anywhere.”
With an original goal of $5,000, the Indiegogo.com site is now catapulting up toward a million, and more than 7,500 signatures have accumulated on a Change.org petition urging President Obama to allow Klein to receive the donations tax-free.
“I almost feel like I don’t deserve it. They should be sending their donations to other people that have more problems than I do,” said Klein, but she is determined to do something useful with the money. “I need new carpeting, maybe a paint job here and there. Pay off all my bills so that I can retire.”
Her daughter, Amanda Romig told Radar last week that her mom also plans to give some of the cash to charity.
“She has a lot of ideas including making a donation here and there. My nephew has autism and my niece has Down syndrome, and with those types of disabilities the kids are going to get picked on too, so she wants to help both causes,” she explained.
[From Radar Online]
Well I assume this is the last we’ll hear about Karen for a while. I mean, unless she gets a reality show. This is a story where a person got famous (and rich) fast, but I honestly think she handled it very well. She didn’t seem smug about it, she focused on the issue of bullying, and most importantly she never sought the spotlight initially, she wasn’t the one who asked people for money, and she just went with it and granted interviews after her video went viral. I don’t have a problem with this lady and how she dealt with what was handed to her, both on the bus and through the media.