ASSONET, Mass. (WPRI) — For more than a decade, Brian Golz has been sending encouraging gifts to children battling deadly diseases.
Golz tells 12 News he created “Jars of Hope – Inspired by Caroline” in honor or a 5-year-old girl who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2012.
“I saw [her story] on the news and I wanted to do something in honor of her,” Golz recalled.
Caroline died on July 18, 2013.
Ever since then, Golz has been stuffing jars with trinkets and customized pillow cases in an effort to lift the spirits of kids fighting deadly diseases.
Golz has a charity Facebook page where he encourages kids’ parents to contact him if they’d like to receive a jar. The community can also donate to his cause, with all of the proceeds going toward the materials needed to create and send the jars.
So far, Golz and his family have created and shipped more than 2,600 jars to kids all across the country.
But his efforts nearly came crashing down around him when his Facebook account was hacked earlier this year.
“My personal account got hacked and they went into the [page] and removed me as an admin,” he recalled. “Then they took over as the admin and they got me banned.”
The person who hacked his account tried holding his account for ransom, demanding Golz pay $150 to regain access.
It was a horrifying experience for Golz, so much so that he almost gave up.
“Originally when this happened, I was actually going to stop because I did everything through Facebook,” he said. “I thought I had lost everything.”
That’s when he decided to reach out to 12 Responds for help.
12 Responds contacted Meta, the company that owns Facebook, on his behalf. Eventually, Golz regained access to his account.
Golz is now back to doing what he loves: making children smile.
“I’m very grateful,” he said. “I might have been done if you hadn’t done that.”
Meta recommends Facebook users enable two-factor authentication on their accounts as an added layer of protection from hackers. The company also recommends users report suspicious links, posts or account actions immediately.