By Curt Anderson / The Good Non Profit
FORT LAUDERDALE – A Florida man said people who donated more than $ 20 million online to help build a wall along the southern border of the United States can get a refund or transfer their support towards a new non-profit effort.
Air Force veteran and triple amputee, Brian Kolfage, 37, said on the GoFundMe page that he had started in December to raise money for President Donald Trump's wall that the non-profit project would have more success. The message tells donors that they can get a refund if they do nothing or they can redirect their donation to the non-profit organization.
"We have a lot of work ahead of us, but that has never deterred me in the past, and with the help of our very experienced team and your support, we will succeed!" Kolfage wrote. "Personally, I will not take a penny off these donations."
Up to now, about 339,000 people have contributed. The new non-profit organization called We Build The Wall Inc. and Kolfage hopes to raise a billion dollars.
According to his plan, segments of the wall would be built privately through negotiations with landowners along the border. Kolfage says that his group identifies areas that are frequently crossed; consider field-based wall solutions, the environment and other issues; and ask landowners if they would provide free or low-cost easements for its construction.
"We are better equipped than our own government to use the funds donated to build a real wall on the southern border," he wrote. "Our team is firmly convinced that we can complete our wall segments for less than half of the government's estimated costs per mile."
It is unclear how this private effort would interact with Trump's federal plans to build a public wall in many of the same areas. Congressional Democrats refused to support Trump's $ 5.6 billion request for the project, resulting in the partial closure of the government, currently the longest in US history.
According to his website, Kolfage was reported to have been seriously injured during a rocket attack conducted in 2004 on an Iraqi air base, which would have lost both his legs and an arm. He and his family live in the community of Sandestin, Panhandle, Florida. Kolfage did not respond Saturday to an email asking for further comments.