What began with a young father’s efforts to pay it forward have since devolved into a back-and-forth feud over $30,000 in donations raised on popular crowdfunding site GoFundMe.
It was a story that tugged at the nation’s heart strings. Houston father Aubrey Fontenot chose kindness instead of anger when confronting his son’s bully, young Tamarion, earlier this year. Fontenot befriended the boy and even treated him to a shopping trip at a mall after learning he, too, was being targeted by bullies.
Fontenot sat his son Jordan and Tamarion down to hash out their issues, and it was all she wrote. The two have been best buds ever since.
The Good Samaritan took his deed a step further and launched a GoFundMe campaign to help the family of the child who once bullied his son. It turned out Tamarion’s family was struggling to make ends meet and was living in a hotel. Their feel-good story took off like wildfire, prompting folks to reach into their pockets to shell out $30,000 in donations to help the struggling family get back on its feet.
However, things have gone downhill since then.
“They don’t want to cooperate,” Fontenot told ABC 13. “They want to do things their way.”
The local tattoo artist said his plan was to help Tamarion’s family. After seeing the success of the GoFundMe page, however, Fontenot said he saw an opportunity to use the funds to help the community and other families in need. He said Tamarion’s family agreed but then reneged.
“I’ve done a lot for these people, and they know that,” Fontenot added. “They really do. It’s really taken a mental toll on me, because it is such a push-and-pull type of feeling. And I just hate it.”
The GoFundMe account is now locked and the matter is being handled by lawyers. Fontenot says Tamarion’s family has threatened him over the funds, but the boy’s mother is rebutting his claims.
Tamarion’s mother, Latasha Cains, questioned Fontenot’s motive for launching the campaign in the first place.
“If he did it out of the kindness of his heart to help then he shouldn’t ask for anything,” Cains said.
She told ABC 13 that Fontenot asked to split the money and suggested they sign some sort on contract. The family refused.
“A lot of people were kind enough to donate to us, to help us in our predicament,” Cains added. “My main concern is that the funds go directly where people intended them to go.”
Both parties said they’re working with GoFundMe to resolve the issue
Watch more in the video below.