GoFundMe donations halted for homeless teen biking to get to college

The GoFundMe page of a 19-year-old homeless Georgia teen and his 60-mile trek on a bicycle to register for college classes is no longer accepting donations.

After collecting more than $180,000 for Fred Barley from donors across the country, Barnesville resident Casey Blaney, the page's owner, has decided to halt donations.

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Blaney's lawyer, Wright Gammon, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the fundraiser was shut down because of the "sheer size of the amount of giving."

"She felt that continuing to accept funds would be taking advantage of the public," Gammon said.

Since Blaney shut it down, she has received several accusations, including one person who accused her of keeping the money and taking off to Hawaii, Gammon said. 

Blaney and her husband are preparing a move to Hawaii, where her husband will complete his last two years of military service before retiring.

"All of the funds are going into an educational trust," Blaney wrote on her "Success for Fred" Facebook page Friday afternoon. "I am a wife and a mother and cannot continue to handle the multitude of calls, texts, social media requests and comments."

Commenting was turned off on all of the page's posts.

Until the trust is formed, Gammon said, GoFundMe has every penny.

"The only person getting hands on the money is Fred if he's in school and the trustee that's going to make the decisions as to when and how much to pay," Gammon said.

Officers found the teen last weekend sleeping in a tent in bushes on the Gordon State College campus. He told them he had ridden his younger brother's 20-inch bicycle from Conyers to Barnesville to register for classes at Gordon State. 

Barley had two duffel bags and 2 gallons of water with him in the tent. Because campus dorms don't open until August, he told the officers he was prepared to spend the next few weeks in the tent.

The officers led him to a motel nearby and paid for his next two nights before the story made its rounds on social media, reaching Blaney, who helped with motel lodging and launched the GoFundMe page.

Several attempts to contact Barley were unsuccessful.

Since she shut it down, she has been receiving several accusations, including one individual who accused her of keeping the money and taking off to Hawaii.

Posted by AJC on Friday, July 22, 2016

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