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Twitter campaign raises more than $1 million for the 3 historically black Louisiana churches after the fire

connectVideoSon of sheriff’s deputy reportedly arrested in connection with the fires at a historically black churches

A social media effort has propelled a GoFundMe campaign in the direction of the ambitious goals of the reconstruction of three historically black churches in Louisiana since the devastating fire that the researchers have since closed were hate crimes.

On April 10, the Seventh District Baptist Association set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise $1.8 million for St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union baptist church and Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church after they were set on fire allegedly by suspect Holden Matthews.

Inspired by the great fundraising that took place for the Notre Dame in Paris after the world watched the iconic house of worship is burning, journalist Yashar Ali put a spotlight on the Seventh District Baptist Association crowdsourcing effort and called on his followers to donate and match his $1,000 pledge.

Throughout the day, Ali kept updating his followers as thousands of donations poured in to the GoFundMe page. Ali noted that when he first called his followers to donate, the association had raised about $159,000. Since then, they have gathered more than $1.5 million. Ali is later updated, which is more than $1.3 million was raised in a 31-hour period.

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The campaign attracted the attention of the major donors, including conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, CNN anchor Jake Tapper, “Late Night” host Seth Meyers, former Obama administration official Valerie Jarrett, and actress Patricia Arquette, Susan Sarandon, Mandy Moore and Busy Students. Former NFL player and Louisiana native Benjamin Watson previously had a spotlight on the GoFundMe campaign, and has renewed his efforts to the middle of the enormous social media pressure.

Matthews, 21, is charged with arson and hate crimes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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