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Conservatives Raise $100k for AOC's Poverty-Stricken Grandma, GoFundMe Shuts It Down

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blames Trump for her grandmother's living conditions

 on 6th June 2021 @ 6.00pm
conservatives raised  100k to help aoc s grandma but the family refused the funds © press
Conservatives raised $100k to help AOC's grandma but the family refused the funds

When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) complained that her grandmother is living in squalid conditions, after her Puerto Rico home was damaged by Hurricane Maria in 2017, conservatives rallied around and raised $100,000 to help with a GoFundMe campaign.

However, the fundraising platform shut down the campaign, claiming that Ocasio-Cortez's family is refusing to accept the funds.

On Wednesday, AOC triggered a backlash when she shared pictures of her poverty-stricken grandma's hurricane-damaged home in a failed attempt to attack President Donald Trump.

AOC used the images to claim "people are being forced" to live this way because "Trump blocked relief [money] for PR."

However, her plan quickly backfired when people pointed out that AOC, who earns a $174,000 per year salary as a congresswoman, is allowing her own grandmother to live in squalor while she lives in luxury.

Shortly after, The Daily Wire's Matt Walsh set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to help repair AOC's grandma's home.

the campaign was started by matt walsh and raised  100 000 for aoc s grandma © press
The campaign was started by Matt Walsh and raised $100,000 for AOC's grandma

In an email sent to Walsh Friday night, GoFundMe said they were “in touch with the beneficiary’s family and they made clear they will not be accepting the funds raised.”

“When a beneficiary doesn’t want to accept the funds that have been raised on their behalf, it is standard practice to turn off donations, then refund all donors,” GoFundMe added.

The message from GoFundMe appears to suggest that it may not have been Ocasio-Cortez’s grandmother who directly refused the funds, but someone else in the family.

More than 5,800 people pledged to help Ocasio-Cortez’s grandmother, raising just over $100,000 in 10 hours before the fundraiser was shut down. 

All this in response to the congresswoman suggesting that rather than taking direct action to help her grandmother, the most important role she played in the situation was to decry “systematic injustice.”

“My abuela is okay,” she wrote.

"But instead of only caring for mine & letting others suffer, I’m calling attention to the systemic injustices you seem totally fine w/ in having a US colony."

On Twitter, Walsh posted the email he received from GoFundMe.

“UPDATE: ‘someone’ in AOC’s abuela’s family told GoFundMe that she won’t take the money, even though AOC previously claimed that her grandma was in dire straits (and it was Trump’s fault). @AOC still hasn’t acknowledged this effort or thanked us,” Walsh wrote.

"Tragically this charitable effort has been sabotaged by forces outside of our control,” Walsh added.

"Still I’m grateful for the outpouring of support for abuela, even if AOC isn’t.

"But questions remain: Why didn’t AOC help her own abuela? Why was our help turned down? We are left to speculate.

"In the end, our campaign raised 100 thousand dollars and could have solved a problem in ten hours that AOC couldn’t solve in four years.

"We can all be proud of that. As for abuela, all we can do now is pray.”

Walsh also posted an update to the GoFundMe page, which explained that GoFundMe would be issuing a refund to everyone who donated within 3 to 7 days.

As Walsh made clear from the beginning, all of the money would be returned to those who donated if Ocasio-Cortez’s grandmother declined to receive the funds.

Walsh himself will receive none of the funds.

Walsh decided to raise the funds after Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter about the squalid conditions in which her grandmother was living, posting photos of her grandmother’s hurricane-damaged home.

Ocasio-Cortez took the opportunity to blame former President Donald Trump for her grandmother’s fate, saying the 45th president blocked aid to Puerto Rico following the devastating Hurricane.

"Just over a week ago, my abuela fell ill,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Wednesday.

"I went to Puerto Rico to see her —  my 1st time in a year+ bc of COVID.

"This is her home. Hurricane María relief hasn’t arrived.

"Trump blocked relief $ for PR. People are being forced to flee ancestral homes, & developers are taking them.”

Ocasio-Cortez followed up her tweet by acknowledging that local politics were also to blame for her grandmother’s living conditions.

"I want to be clear – while Trump admin had a major role, it wasn’t just them,” she tweeted.

"La Junta, local policies, etc were all on the same page: policies that pushed out local families.

"To turn this around, we need audits & get recovery relief to people ASAP, without the onerous strings."

As The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo reported, Walsh questioned why Ocasio-Cortez, who earns more than $170,000 annually and drives a Tesla, has not offered aid to her own grandmother.

The congresswoman and Walsh exchanged a few tweets, after which Walsh decided to start the fundraiser to help her struggling grandmother.

“As you’ve heard, [AOC]’s abuela is living in a dilapidated home that was ravaged by Hurricane Maria,” Walsh wrote on Twitter Friday.

“AOC is unable to help her own grandma for whatever reason, so I have set up this Go Fund Me campaign to save her home.

"Please give if you can #HelpAbuela.”

aoc triggered a backlash by sharing images of her grandma s squalid living conditions © press
AOC triggered a backlash by sharing images of her grandma's squalid living conditions

Walsh said he would donate $499 – the monthly lease payment for a Tesla – to start the fundraiser.

Candace Owens also contributed the same amount.

In her tweets chastising Walsh for suggesting she could help her own grandmother, Ocasio-Cortez claimed that the podcast host didn’t “even have a concept for the role that 1st-gen, first-born daughters play in their families.”

While the congresswoman appears to refer to herself as a “first generation” American, Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York, as was her father, an American citizen of Puerto Rican descent who was born in the Bronx.

The congresswoman’s mother was born in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and have been so since 1917 when they were granted statutory citizenship through the Jones-Shafroth Act signed by Woodrow Wilson.

The United States Census Bureau defines “first-generation” immigrants as members of the family who are “foreign-born” and are the first in the family to gain citizenship or permanent residency in the U.S.; “second generation” refers to “those with at least one foreign-born parent.”

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