When 26-year-old Jon Meis risked his own life to save other people during a shooting at Seattle Pacific University last week, the world was not going to let the courageous act go unnoticed. Thousands of strangers have not only fulfilled the engineering student’s wedding registry, but have raised nearly $50,000 for his and his fiancée’s honeymoon “and future.”

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Seattle Police have said that if Meis didn't take action during the shooting on June 5th, in which he pepper-sprayed and held down the shooter, there would have been more loss of life. As Meis and Kaylie are getting married on June 21st, a woman from a local ESPN affiliate set up the crowdfunding page three days ago to support their journey and give back to him for his bravery. The goal was to raise $5,000, and the total has far surpassed expectations.

While Meis has requested privacy from the media, he did release a statement this morning:

“I know that I am being hailed as a hero, and as many people have suggested I find this hard to accept,” he writes. “I am indeed a quiet and private individual; while I have imagined what it would be like to save a life I never believed I would be put in such a situation. It touches me truly and deeply to read online that parents are telling their children about me and telling them that real heroes do exist.”

He adds, “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. Moving forward, I am strongly requesting that any future donations be given to the victims through Seattle Pacific University.”

Many have left touching messages along with their contributions:

“People like you make this world a better place,” writes Deborah Sanders.

“Thank you for your quick thinking, your kindness and your bravery,” says Dawn Marie Pares. “I imagine it's a very stressful time for you, but I hope your future brings you great happiness.”

Tomy Hudson notes, “You risked your own life to save the lives of others. That is the definition of hero.”

“Faith in humanity restored after hearing about what you did, and now seeing complete strangers helping a fellow human out,” says Nathan Valdez. “I hope you live a long and happy life with your new wife!”

If you'd like to contribute, visit the donation page here.

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