The GoFundMe page of William Oliver out of Atlanta, Georgia, is getting a whole bunch of attention, but not in a good way. Titled “Engagement Ring For My Girlfriend,” the GoFundMe campaign is trending, but it has only raised $609 of its $15,000 goal as of this writing. The $609 was raised by 25 people in eight days, but the GoFundMe page has been shared more than 14,000 times on social media.
Oliver explained that he was touched by his fiancee, Alexandra Bethel, giving him 30 gifts for his birthday when William became a 30-year-old, as seen in the below video. That’s when Oliver decided to incorporate “friends and family” into his mission to get Bethel an engagement ring. However, Alexandra’s Instagram page shows that she already has the ring as of April 4. Alexandra included the “GoFundMe or Nah” hashtag in her Instagram post as if giving a nod to the controversy.
William explained he set up the GoFundMe page in order to let people who love Oliver and Alexandra put their money where their mouths and hearts reportedly reside.
“I’ve decided to get some help by making this a trending approach. This will raise awareness about the difference between the love we share and the love people have for us. Money for the engagement is your chance to get involved. I’ve heard everything from ‘I Love Y’all’ to ‘You need to put a Ring On It’ etc, etc.”
Oliver wrote that he was inspired by Talladega College’s GoFundMe campaign, which ended up raising almost $600,000 raised for the band’s trip to D.C. for inaugural activities, as reported by wvtm13.com. Therefore, William decided to try his hand at getting a viral GoFundMe campaign going for his own engagement ring desires. However, the wording that Oliver used in his viral GoFundMe campaign struck some people the wrong way, with William claiming that people could show their love for him and Bethel by donating money.
“By donating $5 dollars or more we can get this campaign trending. I need a lot of people to donate a little amount NOT necessarily a little bit of people to donate a lot of money. This campaign needs to TREND! I’ve decided to utilize GoFundMe to let everybody who loves us show us.”
The fact that William set his goals high for his GoFundMe campaign, at $15,000, is rankling others. With people tending to use GoFundMe to raise funds after tragic events, such as the sudden death of a loved one, or in order to help a single mother with cancer, the fact that Oliver is attempting to get $15,000 for a diamond engagement ring seems nice but trivial in comparison. There’s also a sense of entitlement that is causing a backlash against the GoFundMe campaign.
“Focused Man, Teaching and Learning. In A World of Pure Imagination.”
Oliver explained on his GoFundMe campaign that people can’t always afford expensive items like diamond rings without help. Instead of using credit cards and banks that overcharge, William tried to encourage family and friends and coworkers to pass up “a drink or a sandwich to help out.” All of his GoFundMe proceeds would be used to buy “a beautiful engagement ring” that everyone could be proud of, wrote Oliver.
In an update, William wrote that he got engaged April 4, and that backlash over his GoFundMe campaign came with the assuming that he couldn’t afford the diamond ring.
“We are engaged 4/4/17. Most people assumed because I asked for help from friends and family that I couldn’t afford this Platinum and Rose Gold Custom Ring. They also assumed that this is what she asked for or that she doesn’t deserve it. Unconditional Love is Free, Weddings are Not…”
William went on the ask why couples should have to “shoulder the cost of the public’s materialistic perception of true love.” As a result, Oliver has the viral GoFundMe campaign he desired, but perhaps not the $15,000 he hoped to raise via GoFundMe.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ELLE]