Luke Toki's GoFundMe Campaign Smashes $500,000
Despite just missing out on the title of Sole Survivor, Luke Toki has undeniably been crowned the People's Champion.
Only hours after Luke's torch was extinguished following one of the most heart-wrenching Tribal Councils in 'Australian Survivor' history, more than 30 GoFundMe campaigns began popping up.
Now, the main campaign has raised $500,000 -- equal to the grand prize won by Pia Miranda on Tuesday night -- and the man responsible for starting the crowdfund has no plans to stop.
Luke's story was twofold, he was one of the greatest players 'Australian Survivor' had seen -- returning for his second chance at the top prize since competing in the 2017 season.
Not only that, he had made the huge sacrifice to leave his family in order to try and bring home $500,000. Revealing that his two sons had been diagnosed with autism and his newborn daughter had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, the title of Sole Survivor was one thing, but winning the prize money would be life-changing.
"I've sacrificed a lot to be out here this time," Luke said sitting on the beach partway through the season. "I'm definitely here for the money because obviously the money will help my family -- every move I make in this game is super critical."
His eventual elimination stung, even more, when it became all the more clear that Luke would miss out on the final tribal council by just days, placing fourth after Harry Hills, Baden Gilbert and the 2019 Sole Survivor Pia Miranda.
After the episode, fans were outraged -- but more than that they were overwhelmed with the spirit of generosity, and the donations began pouring in.
Now, just a day after his final episode aired, the crowd-fund for Luke has hit the $500,000 target.
GoFundMe's Regional Manager for Australia, Nicola Britton, confirmed with 10 daily that they were working with every campaign to make sure they were legitimate and that funds would reach the Toki family.
In a statement to 10 daily, Britton said: "Over $500,000 has been raised to support Luke Toki and his family, making this fund the fastest-growing on GoFundMe Australia in 2019 and ranking as the third biggest to date."
"The outpour of support behind Luke is part of a broader social fundraising movement driven by technology and individuals tapping into their personal networks to help spread support for others in their times of need," Britton continued.
One of those individuals, Dave Skow, began one of the many campaigns which ultimately ended up as the main crowdfund that continued to grow until it hit the $500,000 target.
The fund has seen more than 14,000 donations and Skow confirmed that he has no plans to shut things down when they reach the half-million goal.
"The $500k target was simply to reflect the prize money on offer in Survivor, but if we can raise more than that then this thing will be open for as long as people want to keep donating," he wrote on the campaign page.
"The Toki’s have a challenging road ahead so limiting the amount we can raise is certainly not on the agenda."
After his elimination, fans also rallied around Luke's Etsy store where he sells his signature 'Creepin' shirts.
On social media, Luke thanked fans for their support writing, "It's such a hard to post to write as I'm sooo utterly grateful... I am sooo thankful to the @SurvivorAU gods for taking a shot on me when I first applied in 2017... You have changed my family's life."
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Featured image: Network 10.