HeadKnowles’ GoFundMe raises $80k after split

HeadKnowles’ GoFundMe raises $80k after split

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Non-profit group HeadKnowles has raised nearly $80,000 in the last month via its GoFundMe account ‘Head Knowles Foundation’.

The group’s founders Lia Head and Gina Knowles split in mid-September ending a five-year partnership.

However, donations continue to pour into the group through the crowdfunding website despite an alleged request by founders to close the account. The HeadKnowles Foundation has raised $12,000 in the last 10 days. A donation of $100 was made as recently as 6 p.m. Sunday.

To date, the GoFundMe campaign has raised $1,518,860.

Head announced her split from HeadKnowles 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.

Lia Head

Head alleged the funds collected through the account had been turned over to the local branch of HeadKnowles, headed by co-founder Gina Knowles.

In her statement, Head said a request was submitted for the GoFundMe HeadKnowles account to be shuttered.

A source close to the matter claimed several subsequent requests have been made to GoFundMe for the account to be closed.

On GoFundMe’s FAQ page, the company lists three ways to end a campaign: turn off donations but keep campaign visible; deactivate campaign; or deactivate your campaign and account.

Only a campaign organizer has the ability to end or delete a GoFundMe account.

Calls placed to Head, who is listed on GoFundMe as the campaign’s organizer, were not returned yesterday.

When contacted, Knowles was unavailable for comment.

In a livestream on Head Knowles Foundation’s Facebook page Saturday, Knowles walked through the group’s distribution warehouse, showing aisles of stacked boxes and pallets of supplies the group continues to accept, sort and distribute as a part of relief efforts with its network of volunteers.

“Thank you everybody for your full support and yes, remember everything that we do is accounted for,” Knowles says near the end of the livestream. “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…”

Knowles said families and their needs on islands, including Long Island, Andros, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama and Abaco are documented and groups ships supplies to meet those needs.

In a post on her website ‘TheHead.org’, Head said $1.007 million had been wired to the new HeadKnowles Foundation and she was awaiting receipts to ensure “full transparency”.

“We have directed the financial and legal teams to publish all the facts showing the timeline of what has happened since we started the Dorian relief campaign,” Head said in the post dated September 30.

“The facts speak for themselves. The facts show that we are compliant with the laws of the United States of America, specifically the state of Florida, in order to manage the American campaign, which then allows us to support the Bahamian relief.

“As of September 9, we have wired $1.007 million to the new HeadKnowles Foundation and awaiting receipts to ensure full transparency.

“Thank you for trusting the team at TheHead.ORG. We are pushing really hard; no days off since September 1 and not tired yet.”

Head added her organization along with its partner groups have been working with Bahamian evacuees in Florida, Alabama and Georgia; assisting with fuel and shipping costs of donations; education efforts on behalf of displaced students who evacuated to the US, as well as animal rescue.

She said TheHead.org set up Goombay House for evacuees in Orlando and has helped four families to date to “settle and figure out their next steps, including students in schools”.


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