GREECE, N.Y. – Max Sidorov was so moved by the story of a bullied New York school bus monitor that he started an online campaign to raise money to send Karen Klein on vacation.
His goal was $5,000.
But the campaign had far exceeded that amount when it ended Friday night, raising more than $700,000.
A spokeswoman for the fundraising site Indiegogo said more than 30,000 people from all over the world contributed, with donations coming in from at least 84 countries and all 50 states. The site listed the raised amount as $703,873 Saturday morning.
Sidorov, a 25-year-old Canadian, came up with the idea for the monthlong campaign for the 68-year-old suburban Rochester grandmother. He said he was moved by a 10-minute video posted online showing Klein enduring profanity, insults and threats from middle school students on a school bus.
The school system in the town of Greece has suspended four seventh-grade students for a year. At least three of the boys issued written apologies to Klein.
Sidorov said he was as surprised as anyone with the final result of his posting, which also recorded nearly 28,000 comments.
“I think that people just love rallying around a great cause, especially helping someone in need or who has been abused or can’t stand up for themselves,” Sidorov said by phone from Toronto on Friday.