Karen Klein, the bullied bus monitor whose ordeal sparked an outpouring of public support and ignited a nationwide conversation about bullying, finally met the man who is responsible for netting her more than $661,000 in donations
Tuesday night, the 68-year-old Klein welcomed 25-year-old Max Sidorov from Toronto into her Greece, N.Y., home.
"Nice guy, nice guy," Klein said to ABC News. "I'm very appreciative."
Sidorov, who said he was bullied once, too, felt compelled to act after seeing the YouTube video of Klein being verbally abused by four seventh-grade boys. He set up a page through Indiegogo.com asking for donations to send Klein on the “vacation of a lifetime.” Sidorov’s original goal was set at $5,000. In its first 24 hours, the fundraising campaign eclipsed $125,000.
"I didn't think anyone expected anything like this," Sidorov told ABC, noting to WHAM, "It reinforces my belief that there are so many good-hearted, kind, genuine people out there. It's inspired me."
Klein plans to donate part of the money to support Down syndrome research. She has eight grandchildren, one of whom has the genetic disorder.
Another portion of the nearly two-thirds of a million dollars will go toward home improvements, and to “pay off all my bills so that I can retire," Klein said.
"I almost feel like I don't deserve it," Klein, who has worked for the Greece, N.Y., school system for 23 years, added. "They should be sending their donations to other people that have more problems than I do."