Best of Detroit 2020: COVID-19-Related GoFundMe Campaigns

Locals have raised funds to support Michigan artists, businesses, and families
gofundme metro detroit pandemic
Photo: IStock

Our annual Best of Detroit issue is usually an entirely lighthearted affair — a chance to rejoice in the restaurants and bars, retailers, entertainment venues, and personalities that make this city such a dynamic place to live. While our readers poll results provide plenty of that this year, we also wanted to recognize greatness that could not be captured in a ballot.

And so, we devoted much of our June issue to the ways in which these worst of times have shown this region at its best.

Even as they’ve faced their own economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, metro Detroiters have given generously. These are some of the most interesting and successful efforts seen on crowdfunding platform GoFundMe. All numbers are as of May 5, and some campaigns have now been deactivated. To see the most recent numbers and give, visit and search for these or other campaigns that are meaningful to you.

We See You, Detroit!


What it’s for: To buy tablets for Detroit-area hospitals so family members can visit via Zoom or Skype and monitor loved ones battling COVID-19.

Organizer: Michelle Groe, friend of an ER doctor at Sinai-Grace Hospital

Number of donors: 131

Sister Pie Staff Wages/Tips


What it’s for: To pay furloughed employees of Sister Pie, a bakery in Detroit

Organizer: Owner Lisa Ludwinski

Number of donors: 325

Protect Detroit Healthcare Workers from COVID-19


What it’s for: To acquire face shields and masks, as well as isolation gowns for Detroit-area hospitals, including Ascension St. John, Sinai-Grace, and Harper

Organizer: Jane Prophet and Rebekah Modrak, respectively associate dean and professor at U-M’s Stamps School of Art & Design

Number of donors: 230

Meals for Heroes at Hospitals Across Michigan


What it’s for: To provide daily meals to staff at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak

Organizer: Maverick and Jett Levy, niblings of Beaumont Royal Oak nurse

Number of donors: 309

Michigan Artist Relief Fund


What it’s for: To bestow grants to musicians in Michigan who lost gigs and other work in the COVID-19 shutdown

Organizer: Spread the Music Foundation and Walk The Beat

Number of donors: 411

Fowler Family Ravaged by COVID-19


What it’s for: To benefit the survivors of Gary and David Fowler, a father-and-son duo who both succumbed to COVID-19 after being refused tests and care

Organizer: Paris McCray, Gary’s daughter and David’s granddaughter

Number of donors: 711

Clean Water for Flint During the COVID-19 Crisis


What it’s for: To buy boxed water for residents of Flint who still do not trust the public water supply

Organizer: Hill Harper, star of The Good Doctor

Number of donors: 1,600+

Support Ann Arbor’s Hometown Fish Market


What it’s for: To pay employees of Monahan’s Seafood, a restaurant in Ann Arbor

Organizer: Owner Michael Monahan

Number of donors: 774

Support Literati Bookstore


What it’s for: To pay rent, utilities, and payroll at Literati, an independent bookstore in Ann Arborn Ann Arbor

Organizers: Owner Mike Gustafson and general manager Jack Anbenderer Jack 

Number of donors: 2,000+ (in two campaigns)