kort family

GoFundMe for Ontario family that lost two daughters in crash raises more than $300k

When a tragedy befalls an individual or business, crowdfunding is often a successful way to ease the pain of hard times and help provide much-needed money for recovery efforts, whether it be keeping a business open during financial devastation, rebuilding after something like a fire, or covering medical bills, funeral costs and more after an accident or illness.

Though sometimes campaigns fall short of their goal, it seems that victims are always blown away by the massive outpouring of support they receive from their community in such circumstances.

The latter is the case for the Kort family of Belleville, Ontario, who suffered the loss of two young daughters in a car crash in Florida over the weekend.

The family of six was driving home from the southern state after a March Break trip when their van was hit from behind by a cement truck early Saturday morning, crushing them into an SUV ahead.

Nine were injured in the incident, which was unfortunately fatal for 10-year-old Joni and 13-year-old Madeline Kort, while 16-year-old Hannah and mother Jamie Kort remain in critical condition in the ICU at a Jacksonville hospital.

Fifteen-year-old Ethan and father Pieter were badly physically hurt, and also now reeling from the loss of their loved ones as they face a long road to recovery.

But, aiding that recovery is a staggering $314,000 and counting that friends and strangers alike are sending to the family.

"Our family’s lives were changed forever on March 19 when the unimaginable happened. While on their way home from a family vacation in Florida, the Korts were in a horrific vehicle accident," organizer Lindsay Young, who appears to be a sister of one of the victim's and aunt to the deceased, writes on the GoFundMe page for the Korts, which was launched yesterday.

"Many have asked what they can do to help. While we don't know the specifics of this journey, we know the road ahead will be long and fraught with immeasurable grief. Your love, support, and prayers are appreciated during this time."

In just 24 hours, more than 1,400 people have now donated to the cause, well surpassing the campaign's $50,000 goal to reach $314,309 at the time of publication.

"May knowing how much you are cared for and respected bring you some comfort at this overwhelming time," one contributor wrote.

"Our deepest sympathies for your loss and sending all our courage and strength for the days ahead," another said.

Many appear to be named local families and groups who were personally familiar with the Korts and father Pieter's law firm, which he ran with his brother — one donator even noted that their family was in the SUV ahead at the time of the wreck.

"I can't stop thinking of this family and now I have faces that belong to the victims of this tragedy. I'll continue my prayers for their recovery and strength in dealing with this loss," that individual said.

The local Catholic school board in Belleville also released a statement giving their condolences, and offering bereavement aid to any other students who may be affected, noting that the accident is a "heartbreaking and tremendous loss in our community."

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