Hurting but proud, Theresa Depies never imagined starting a GoFundMe campaign to save her dairy farm.

Yet hundreds of donations later, and blended with other help, she had raised $165,510 to keep Springbrook Organic Dairy from closing less than a week before a foreclosure auction.

“We were getting very scared because people were already coming to look at the farm before the auction. That freaked us out,” Depies said.

Springbrook, in Washburn County, is one of thousands of farms nationwide that have used GoFundMe to raise money to stay in business or to get through a crisis.

On its website, GoFundMe boasts that it has raised billions of dollars for charitable causes since 2010. Through the service, people can donate directly to individuals in need, like victims of Hurricane Florence.

There are now more than 2,500 U.S. dairy farms on the website, with some farmers urgently appealing for help after their finances were ruined by three years of low milk prices.

“I have never asked for a handout, but I can’t keep borrowing money to pay for things,” one Wisconsin farmer wrote. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for even considering helping us continue our journey.”

Read more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.