Karen Klein just got one whopper of a supporter in her camp.
The New York school-bus monitor, who sparked a massive outpouring of sympathy and affection after a video surfaced that showed her being viciously bullied on a school bus, can now count Ellen DeGeneres as one of her champions.
The talk-show host, who's been a strong and vocal opponent of bullying, tweeted words of support for the 68-year-old school-district veteran.
"It breaks my heart," wrote DeGeneres, who in the past has thrown her star power behind anti-bullying PSAs and spotlighted the issue extensively on her talk show. "I'm so moved by the donations. Bullying doesn't end when you grow up. It ends when we stop bullying."
And what were those donations DeGeneres was referring to?
That would be the online fund-raising campaign that was set up by a pair of magnanimous supporters who were so affected by the video, they sought to help drum up funds to send Klein on a vacation.
And what a vacation it'll be: As of midday Thursday, the fund has racked up a staggering $280,000—and counting—from more than 13,600 donors.
Klein, who has been a school-district employee for 23 years in Greece, N.Y., was caught on video being ruthlessly taunted by students from Athena Middle School as they hurled spiteful insults that ranged from calling her "fatass" to "troll."
One taunt—"You're so ugly, your kid should kill themselves''—struck painfully close to home: Klein's reportedly said her son committed suicide 10 years ago.
She could later be seen wiping tears away, which seemed to fuel the students' viciousness.
"I want the boys punished, but I don't know how,'' she told Matt Lauer on the Today show Thursday morning. "It made me feel really terrible, but I will get over it. I've gotten over everything else."
Perhaps the astounding deluge of affection she's received—not to mention that burgeoning vacation fund—will help pave the way for her healing.