Glad to Hear It! Crowdfunding Provides Answers for Mocked Army Veteran to Purchase Vehicle

When a group of strangers heard a 75-year-old Army veteran was ridiculed for trying to sell his hearing aids to purchase a wheelchair-accessible vehicle that would take him to cancer treatments, they refused to turn a deaf ear to his plight.

Gilbert Hoppe, who has been battling cancer for more than five years from his home in Minnesota, had put pictures of his hearing aids on a Facebook sales site in the hope that he would find a buyer. Hoppe, had been doing well, but the cancer has reappeared in his bones, back and lungs. To make matters worse, he has lost a kidney since his cancer battle began and his wife has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Hoppe has taken on caring for her as well.

To his dismay, what he found was a slew of cruel comments.

Army veteran Hoppe who served in the Army from 1962 to 1966, was humbled to find that not all reactions to his online post were nasty and that he had friends he had never met who were willing to rally around him with acts of kindness.  His supporters, Kristi Bighley, Christ Wright and Christina Anderson, organized a crowdfunding page along with a silent auction that has raised nearly $20,000 to help Hoppe purchase a wheelchair-accessible vehicle that will take him to and from the VA in Mankato.

Today crowdfunding websites provide veterans as well as many other underserved individuals with a platform to raise funds to purchase a car or repair an existing vehicle.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of, said that crowdfunding has the potential to help individuals, nonprofits, small businesses and entire communities solve transportation issues impacting health, education, and employment.

Kristi Bighley, one of the first to jump in and defend the army veteran, said the comments posted to Hoppe's Facebook page broke her heart.

Regardless, when asked how the outpouring of support made him feel, Hoppe said, "Good. Couldn't feel any better.", the free fundraising website enables individuals, nonprofit organizations, businesses and entrepreneurs to increase their opportunities for success by safely showcasing their projects, ventures and ideas to a pool of potential investors and donors throughout the world. The process is simple: sign-up, create a profile, a fundraising goal, and compelling message that prospects will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, people will pledge their support.

About the Author: Staff Writer for YouHelp