Jon Meis, the 22-year-old student who tackled the Seattle Pacific University shooter last Thursday, has received the wedding gift of a lifetime, and it all came from strangers.
Aaron Ybarra allegedly opened fire at SPU last week, killing one person and wounding three others, and he was only stopped when Jon, a student building monitor, tackled and pepper-sprayed the gunman.
It was soon discovered that Jon was getting married on June 21, mere weeks after the tragic event, so a link to his registry was found and posted on Reddit. And then the Internet got to work.
By Friday afternoon, the campaign went viral and random strangers had purchased every single item on his Target and Crate & Barrel registry. But it didn't stop there.
Jessamyn McIntyre, a Seattle resident who has no personal relationship with Jon, started a fundraiser so people who wanted to show their gratitude and support could donate toward his future with his soon-to-be wife. The goal was to raise $5,000. As of Monday, almost $50,000 has been donated by people from all over the world.
"Seattle Police say if [Jon] didn't take action that day, there was almost certain to be more loss of life. This couple hasn't asked for anything, but many wish to contribute to their future," she wrote on the GoFundMe page. "I am astounded by the response from Seattle, the country and around the world. You have all shown the good side of humanity."
On Monday morning, Jon finally spoke out about the experience and thanked everyone who bought gifts off his registry and gave to Jessamyn's fundraiser, but he's got one request for any future donations.
"I am overwhelmed with the incredible generosity that has been showered upon me. It has been deeply touching to read the comments online and realize that my actions have had such a strikingly widespread effect," he said in a statement. "Moving forward, I am strongly requesting that any future donations be given to the victims through Seattle Pacific University."
You can read Jon's full account of the incident at the Seattle Pacific University website.