Duluth woman raises over $50k through Instagram

Baihly Warfield
Created: December 11, 2020 10:50 PM

If you've ever had a question about the election or the U.S. government and just want a straightforward, nonpartisan answer, Sharon McMahon is your girl. 

She runs an Instagram account called @sharonsaysso to answer those questions. She's a former government teacher, and there's quite a bit of appetite for her unbiased explanations. 

"I noticed last week that I was getting ready to hit a pretty big milestone of 50,000 followers and asked, what should we do to celebrate?" she said. 

A follower suggested a fundraiser where people can donate via Venmo or PayPal, two online money transfer services.

"I was thinking, wouldn't it be amazing if we could raise $5,000," McMahon recalled. "I would be psyched."

But it turns out that goal wasn't big enough. About nine hours after she launched the fundraiser, she posted a tearful video thanking her followers for helping her raise $11,000. 

"This has been, like, an absolutely amazing day for me," she said in the Instagram story. 

But people didn't stop there. Another update put the total at $32,000, then $38,000, then $43,000, then $49,000. As of Friday night, she'd raised $56,000. 

"I'm just overwhelmed at the beauty that is social media sometimes," McMahon said on Instagram. 

Donations have ranged between. $.50 and $500. Most people give $5-10. 

"I am just as touched by somebody who can donate $500 as ... when someone can donate $.50," she said. "Because it's really about the heart of the giver and not about the size of the gift."

She opened up applications for people who need the help. She has three areas where she wants the money to go: 

  • Making sure children have a gift to open on Christmas
  • Helping cover basic needs for people impacted by the pandemic
  • Supporting local 

"My hope is to be able to buy a bunch of gift certificates to local businesses, local restaurants and then be able to give those to people who can use them," McMahon said. 

She wants to spread the love she's been so overwhelmed by. 

"I really believe to whom much is given, much is expected. And if I've been given this platform, I would love to be able to use it to impact the world for good." 

Her Instagram is @sharonsaysso. She can be Venmo'ed at sharonsaysso, or send PayPal donations to sharonmcmahoneducation@gmail.com. The link to the application for help is here. 

She planned to accept donations through Friday and start giving money away Saturday. 


Baihly Warfield

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