Group raises over $1.5 million in Dorian aftermath
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Non-profit organization HeadKnowles, whose founders split in mid-September, has deactivated its gofundme.com account after raising $1.52 million in Hurricane Dorian relief donations on the crowdsourcing website.
The deactivation was expected to take place two months ago as agreed by founders Lia Head and Gina Knowles when the pair went their separate ways.
At the time of deactivation, the GoFundMe campaign had raised $1,520,600.
Noting that the campaign has been deactivated, a message on the campaign page reads: “This fundraiser is no longer accepting donations. If you are the organizer, beneficiary, team member or donor, sign in to see additional information.”
When contacted yesterday, Head declined to comment at this time.
Calls placed to Knowles were not returned.
Head announced her split from the organization on September 16, citing certain measures to “defame my name and reputation” among the reasons for her departure.
At the time, she advised that all requests for the group to satisfy how the money was raised, and ensure compliance with the IRS, were satisfied.
In a statement announcing her departure, Head, who was listed on GoFundMe as the campaign’s organizer, said the funds collected through the account had been turned over to the local branch of HeadKnowles, headed by co-founder Gina Knowles.
She also said a request was submitted for the GoFundMe HeadKnowles account to be shuttered.
The campaign raised around $80,000 between September 16 and October 21.
In a livestream of HeadKnowles Foundation’s Facebook page on October 19, Knowles advised that “everything that we do is accounted for”.
She said: “We have it all ‘spreadsheeted’ out and we have an accounting firm. We are having a blast doing what we are doing. We don’t get paid to do what we do…”
The group became instrumental in getting hurricane relief supplies to islands impacted Hurricane Joaquin in September 2015, and has since responded to other natural disasters and recovery events such as Hurricane Matthew in October 2015, Hurricane Irma in September 2017 and even the search and recovery effort of missing pilot Byron Ferguson in November 2018.
The HeadKnowles Foundation operates out of a distribution center on Gladstone Road.
Distribution to Dorian evacuees took place yesterday between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Evacuees were required to present identification such as a National Insurance Board card, a passport or voter’s card. The group noted identification must be presented for “each member of the family collecting”.
“For example: family of four – I.D.’s must be shown for father, mother and each child,” read a notice on its Facebook page.
The organization catered to senior citizens exclusively on Monday, providing them with food and clothing.
In another livestream video on Facebook, Knowles indicated that HeadKnowles continues to work hard and remains busy serving the community in the aftermath of Dorian.