Turning A Really Bad Moment Into Something Good For Sick Children

A "joke" fundraiser to pay a football player's fine turns into help for a Pittsburgh hospital.

Justin McGonigal admits, it all kind of started as a joke. He thought why not demonstrate that Steelers Nation stands behind center Maurkice Pouncy by raising money to pay for his fine for his actions in last Thursday night's game against the Cleveland Browns? In case you didn't see it, Pouncey threw Browns defensive lineman Myles Garrett to the turf after Garrett ripped off Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph's helmet and hit Rudolph in the head with it.

McGonigal started a GoFundMe, and began promoting it on the website. "We're proud of the way [Maurkice Pouncy] defended our quarterback, Mason Rudolph," wrote McGonigal, who quickly turned it into a fundraiser for Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh instead of an effort to pay Pouncey's fine. "Let's turn a negative into a positive for Steeler Nation and people in need."

The GoFundMe's goal is $50,000, the amount of the fine and as of this writing, it was over 10% of the goal. Fans left comments as they made their donations:

  • Vince Vilcinskas donated $30 and wrote "Mr. Pouncey was just doing the right thing!"
  • Eric Zwigart likes the fact that his $100 donation makes a point, and a difference for kids. "You can stand behind MP and Steelers plus donate to children of Pittsburgh win win."
  • Dan Morgenstern's gave $25 and made light of the on-field fight that didn't injure quarterback Rudolph but resulted in a suspension for Garrett. "No one tries to kill Rudolph this close to Christmas and gets away with it!".

If you want to get in on the game, click here and we'll link you to the Steelers Nation GoFundMe page. McGonigal says his plan is to use the money to purchase toys for children who will have to spend the holidays in the hospital, and pledges to deliver them personally to Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh.

How can you start something good?
The Conversation
More stories you may love

How Saving A Church Is Saving Lives Too

A couple bought an abandoned church and turned it into a community center. What they've created is so much bigger.

They're Saluting Our Veterans Every Day of the Year

Meet the Pittsburghers who are making sure our returning vets have jobs, homes and food, and find out how you can help.

How Goats And The Volunteers Who Love Them Are Saving A Popular Park

They're keeping invasive plants from taking over Pittsburgh's Frick Park by doing what comes naturally. For the goats at least!

Our Mission
Have you ever felt like there's just too much bad news? Ever felt like the world is hopeless, and you're helpless to do anything about it? We did too. That's why we created Sparkt™.
At Sparkt™, we tell powerful stories about great people making a difference in their communities, and we show you how you can make a difference too. Join us, and together, let's #StartSomethingGood!
Sparkt Newsletter
Get positive, uplifting stories in your inbox
Follow Us on Social Media
Download the Mobile App
Sparkt™ is a Rabble Holdings, Inc. Media Brand. © 2020 Rabble Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.