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'For everyone who got their money back from Israel Folau's GoFundMe, donate to these instead.'

Late last week, you may have heard that Israel Folau was asking Australians for money.

After a plethora of controversial social media posts about homosexuals and other so-called “sinners” who Folau believes are destined for “hell”, it was decided by Rugby Australia that he had breached their commitment to “inclusiveness”.

RA announced in May that Folau had committed a “high-level” breach of their rugby players’ code of conduct, and the 30-year-old’s four-year, $4 million contract was terminated.

But Folau believes Rugby Australia acted unlawfully: “I do not believe that it is fair or right that I be punished for my religious beliefs,” he wrote in his appeal.

The unravelling of Israel Folau. Post continues after podcast.

So, despite his millionaire status, Folau asked the public to fund his legal campaign against Rugby Australia.

In three days, he managed to raise over $750,000 of his $3 million goal. It was the highest-trending GoFundMe campaign in the country.

Then, on Monday, it was announced that GoFundMe had removed the page.

“Today we will be closing Israel Folau’s campaign and issuing full refunds to all donors. After a routine period of evaluation, we have concluded that this campaign violates our terms of service,” GoFundMe Australia regional manager Nicola Britton said.

“As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity. While we welcome GoFundMes engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.”

“In the days since Mr Folau’s campaign launched, more than one million dollars have been donated to hundreds of other campaigns, large and small, across Australia. Those acts of kindness are the heart of GoFundMe.”

While those campaigns may never receive the public attention garnered by Folau, they deserve your money more.

Here are just five of those campaigns.

Love for Leana

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Image: GoFundMe.
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Leana, mother of two girls and wife to Matthew, has been in an induced coma. Doctors have diagnosed Leana with Class A Streptococcus, Toxic Shock Syndrome, Multiple Organ Failure and she is suffering from the effects of Septicemia.

She was 33-weeks pregnant when she fell critically ill, and has lost her baby as a result.

Currently in the Intensive Care Unit, her recovery process is expected to take months.

This is her GoFundMe page, set up by her friends to help Leana and her family.

Princess Piper

Gofundme donations
Image: GoFundMe.

The story of little girl Piper sits next to Israel Folau on GoFundMe's homepage.

Just three weeks before Piper’s first birthday she was diagnosed with Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma.

Tumours had spread through her tiny body, growing on her liver, stomach, abdomen and chest.

After a recent CT scan, Piper’s parents, Meagan and Laurence, were told there was no cure and on Thursday night, it was reported that little Piper has passed away.

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A friend set up their GoFundMe page to help alleviate the financial pressure and allow Laurence to take time off work. They have two other children, five-year-old Cayden, and three-year-old Franklin.

Davie in a life-threatening condition

Gofundme donations
Image: GoFundMe.

Davie collapsed in a bathroom, leading to him being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit with a brain haemorrhage as well as suffering from other complications.

Davie is currently fighting for his life.

He has no family.

Davie's GoFundMe page was set up by his friend, Elliot.

Family who lost everything in fire

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Image: GoFundMe.
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Tobias and Esme recently returned to Australia, relocating to Tasmania with their two children, Raphael and Zebadiah.

On their first day in the state, a fire erupted from their generator, destroying the home they were staying in and exploding their car.

Everything has been lost and Tobias has suffered serious burns to his hands and back, severely impacting his employment prospects.

Their GoFundMe page was set up by their nephew.

Healing Sheilz

Gofundme donations
Image: GoFundMe.

Sheila has been diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NSHL).

Known as a warm and hard-working woman, Sheila has nearly exhausted all of her leave entitlements adding extra stress to her situation.

Sheila's GoFundMe page was set up by her friend who wants to make her situation just that little bit easier.

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So where do our priorities lie?

These are all Australians who have raised a fraction of what Folau had. And they're only five of the hundreds and hundreds of appeals on GoFundMe that deserve our money.

Imagine if the people who donated $750,000 to Folau, chose instead to place their money in any of the other GoFundMe campaigns that could change someone's life.

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