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Silicon Valley couple to raise $1500 for a separated family. They are at $4M

Immigrant children are pictured outside a former Job Corps site that now houses them, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Homestead, Florida. It is not known whether the children across the border as unaccompanied minors or were separated from family members.

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

USA Today calls it “probably the largest collection ever on Facebook” … and that was when it had raised $3.6 million. The Facebook campaign was set up by Silicon Valley couple Charlotte and Dave Willner—”Reunite immigrant parents with their child”—as of this writing pulled in $3.95 million since Saturday morning.

Money reports of the couple was moved to do something by this picture of a young girl. “It was the closest to what we can do to hug that child,” Dave says the San Jose Mercury News, in which the comments of the Willners have a 2-year-old girl.

All proceeds go to RAICES, a Texas non-profit organization that provides immigrants and refugees with a pro-bono legal representation. The campaign had a modest start, with the former Facebook employees, who now work at Pinterest and Airbnb, in the hope to raise just $1,500 to bail out of one of the parents.

Jenny Hixon of RAICES explains to USA Today what a windfall the money is: “Our fundraising infrastructure is spartan. We have a development person on staff, that is me … and I am also responsible for the supervision of the shelter, volunteer, activities, media, community outreach, and resettlement of refugees.” Still, Money notes that the website states managed to close the 51,000 immigration cases last year.

Now, RAICES is hustling to get together with other like-minded organisations in the state, and that every federal court, there is below; it is also creating a database of separated families.

“This feels insanely ambitious,” says Hixon, “but we feel like this is the right time to do great things.” Political comments, both Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg have donated undisclosed amounts to the campaign.

(This audio obtained by ProPublica is adding fuel to the controversy.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: They Increase from $1500 for a Separated Family. They are at $4M

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