GoFundMe to Raise Money to Visit Aunt
I have an aunt I haven’t seen in 33 years. When I was a little girl, I was very close to her, spending more time with her than my mother, who worked almost all the time because my father was not a part of my upbringing and contributed nothing to our cost of living. Back then, she was a second mother to me. Then when I was 11, she moved far away to marry a man I never met (they later divorced), and I haven’t seen her since. She had a daughter from her marriage to him (she is my cousin; I met her one time when she visited my hometown, but I’m not close to her). Ever since my aunt moved away, I have talked to her on the phone regularly and she is still my favorite person. But our relationship is long distance and that’s what I’ve been used to. She recently told me she really wants to see me again and spend at least a month with me, and I am willing to stay there even longer if I can get there, even possibly several months. But I can’t afford a flight there. I live on a fixed income and don’t have a job. With my disability, I’m not capable of much work. Nowadays, people do Go Fund Me drives for all different causes. I’ve been trying to save my money, but it’s not enough and I’ve been having to spend some of it on emergencies. I need at least $700 more than I have now to take a trip to see her. Both she and my mother are retired and can’t afford to help me. She says once I get to where she lives, I can stay in her home for free for as long as I want and also use her car as much as I wish. She is in good health and says she expects to live a long time more. She just misses me a lot and has never seen me grown up. Do you think it’s okay for me to beg others (such as my local community or social media friends) for the money just to travel? As a rabbi, do you think that is ethical?