Two Bowdoin graduates, who were among the first Facebook employees, have created a nonprofit legal defense fund — now at more than $11.76 million — to reunite immigrant parents with their children who were taken at the border.
The Willners, who now work at Pinterest and AirBnB, respectively, reached more than 122,000 people by Tuesday morning, in what is now the largest campaign on the new Facebook Fundraisers, according to the Mercury News.
The Willners have a 2-year-old daughter, and told the paper they were moved by a photo of a young girl crying near her mother and border patrol agents at the border.
“These aren’t kids we don’t have to care about. They’re like our kids,” Charlotte Willner told the paper. “When we look at the faces of these children, we can’t help but see our own children’s faces.”
Donations go to RAICES, a Texas nonprofit that offers free and low-cost legal services to immigrants. By 1 p.m. Wednesday, the website had crashed, and donors were asked to check back later.
“As someone so far away and feeling so helpless it is massively comforting to know that there is an organization on the ground reuniting children with families,” a donor, Samantha Halstead, wrote on the donation Facebook page. “Please please please keep doing this good work. We are behind you, with you and will continue to be as we navigate this monstrosity.”
Follow BDN Bath-Brunswick on Facebook for the latest news from the Bath-Brunswick area and Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties.