Friday, December 19, 2014

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Karen Klein Continues to Cherish All the Support

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Rochester: Karen Klein Continues to Cherish All the Support
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Karen Klein says gifts, cards, donations and donation requests have been coming in daily since she captured the nation and the world's attention after Greece middle school students posted video of themselves verbally attacking and harassing her last month.

"I want you on my kid’s bus. I respect your integrity and strength,” Karen said, reading a comment aloud. “Don’t feel bad, we love you Karen. I’m so sorry you had to endure that unbelievable viciousness, only good things for you from now on, God bless and love."

"Oh, it just it gives me chills. Everybody’s just so great."

Over the last 30 days, the 68-year-old soon-to be retired bus monitor has traveled to Boston to appear on radio shows, and New York City for interviews on national T-V programs. She's taken part in local rallies against bullying and was featured in a July issue of People magazine.

Klein says Anderson Cooper is paying for a family Disney Cruise and Country star Tim McGraw has invited her to a show in New Orleans

"I mean it almost felt like I wasn’t here, like this wasn’t me. I see me on TV and I go, 'Oh, I like that top, it doesn’t look that bad on me,' stupid stuff."

But the most surprising part of this experience for Klein and the Canadian man who set up the online fundraiser with the hope of sending Klein on a $5,000 vacation is that people continued to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars after the goal was reached within the first few hours.

Some critics have written op-ed pieces in the local paper and blogs describing the campaign as, 'excessive giving' to an 'unworthy cause.'

"Don’t criticize me for what other people are doing for me,” Klein said. “I didn’t plan this. This was not on my agenda. I mean, what’s happened, I’m glad it has, because the awareness is out there now. I mean, they didn’t send me money because I need money, they sent money because they liked what I did. They liked the fact that this out in the open now."

Klein hasn't received a check yet and isn't exactly sure how she'll spend it. She wants to invest some, pay bills, maybe hire a landscaper and cook.

As for the requests, Klein says she is planning to spend some of the money and her time on local causes close to her heart, like suicide prevention, Down’s syndrome and anti-bullying.

"I want to thank everyone for everything they’ve done for me, and I can’t possibly thank each one individually. So, I guess a general announcement would be, thank you everybody." ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP