(CBS Local) — A father of five who raised more than $2,500 on GoFundMe to pay for his kids’ Christmas presents is now facing criticism for resorting to crowdsourcing to give his family a special holiday. Ben Buckley, 32, launched his GoFundMe page last week, fearing he wouldn’t have enough money to throw a joyous Christmas for his family.
Buckley, a warehouse worker in England, said he was forced to cut his hours at work to help take care of his children when his partner, Kirsty Wickings, 35, fell ill following a “complicated” pregnancy.
Wickings gave birth to a healthy daughter earlier this month, but Buckley told Hull Live that she was hospitalized “two or three times” with a lung infection.
Buckley said his reduced work hours provided “just enough money to cover the rent and bills,” but with the holidays fast approaching, he had gone into a “huge panic,” having “no clue how we are going to provide our kids with a Christmas at all.”
While his GoFundMe appeal was a big success, having reached its $2,500 goal in three days, some people online thought the request was in poor taste, believing that Christmas should not solely be about the gifts.
But others stuck up for the couple.
In an update on his GoFundMe page, Buckley weighed in on the debate:
“To everybody who posted negative comments we are sorry if we caused any offence or upset anyone, this was never our intention,” Buckley wrote. “We never expected this amount of kindness or media attention. in the new year we are going to make it one of our priorities to make monthly donations to other go fund me accounts. we wish everyone a very merry Christmas and thank you again to all you kind hearted souls xx.”