ep_jhu / Flickr Families...
ep_jhu / Flickr

On Saturday, using a Facebook fundraiser campaign, California couple Dave and Charlotte Willner set out to raise $1,500 to help reunite one immigrant family. In a matter of days the Wilners surpassed their goal and had over $1M in donations. Within six days, the Wilners raised over $18M for the cause.

The money is going to a nonprofit organization called RAICES/Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. It’s the the largest immigration legal service provider in Texas. (https://www.facebook.com/raicestexas)


Here is their story. Looks like they have Trump’s number.

For years, RAICES has been working with some of the most vulnerable members of our society to ensure they receive advocacy and fair legal representation. RAICES directly funds bond to allow parents to reclaim their detained children. They will ensure legal representation for every separated family and every unaccompanied child in Texas’ immigration courts (last year, 76% of kids (over 13,000!) did not have representation). They will work to get these children and parents the psychological care they will need after this experience.

President Trump recently announced he will end his family separation policy, but as of Thursday morning, his administration apparently has no plan to reunite the more than 2300 families already separated. His new policy is short on details and continues to promote the incarceration of children. This is unacceptable.

In a policy environment like this, RAICES’ work becomes more important than ever, and they are ready to move fast. These families need legal representation, counseling and other crucial services that RAICES will be able to provide to more people at a greater and faster scale than ever before because of these funds.

Make no mistake that the administration is changing course because people spoke out. You spoke out. You showed that you’re not okay with this, that none of this okay, and that you won’t stand for it.

This fundraiser started with the hope of reuniting maybe one family, but it grew. It grew so big that it couldn’t be ignored. It grew to a community, to a place that will help all families separated. And it’s groups like this and people like you that are responsible for progress in a matter of days, so that mothers and fathers can hug their children again.

Your voice and actions matter. Keep them going strong.

There is currently a “Match Alert” by several private donors who will match, dollar for dollar, whatever the public donates up to $362K. Those interested in becoming private matching donors can PM (personal Facebook message) RAICES. Below is some additional information, which you can also find on the fundraiser page.

FAQs about who RAICES is, what they will use the money for, other ways you can help: https://bit.ly/2Kd0XnE

Update video from RAICES: https://www.facebook.com/raicestexas/videos/10156008679169678/

With every tragedy comes an outpour of  love and another glimpse of the human spirit. America is witnessing that right now. Charlotte and Dave Willner are  two everyday people who wanted to help change the lives of one desperate immigrant family. The money they’ve raised will help thousands of immigrant families who were forced to separate. Directly/indirectly, the Willners and all those who donated, have changed the world through compassion, kindness and generosity.

That is big and that is beautiful.

Here a direct link to the Fundraising page.

I don’t usually ask, but if you feel inclined, please share this story or any other story about this campagin, on your social media platforms. Given its pace and time-sensitive momentum, with perfect irony and the will of the people, this fundraiser could garner more money to help immigratns legally stay in America—than Trump can raise to keep them out.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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