On Christmas Eve, Humans of New York blogger Brandon Stanton shared a very real opportunity to help Syrian refugees.
And 18,000 of you decided to take him up on it.
In less than 24 hours, word of the campaign swept through the HONY community and across the web. Donors raced through the $100,000 goal and kept on giving.
“Yesterday we raised nearly $500,000 in financial assistance for the refugee families we met during the month of December,” Stanton shared on his Facebook page. “As of now, this is enough to provide each family with about $40,000. That is a large amount for anyone, but when you are starting from zero, it is all the money in the world.”
The campaign has currently raised 800% of its goal – more than $750,000.
“Starting at zero in a new country”
While Stanton typically chronicles the everyday stories of New Yorkers, the Syrian crisis spurred him to take a new journey to record the stories of war-torn refugees living in Turkey.
The campaign, like other successful fundraisers, offered donors a chance to impact real people: A woman living in Jordan who hopes to finish her education when she arrives in North Carolina; a family with two little boys still traumatized by daily bombings; and a scientist, whose wife and daughter were killed but still plans to pursue his inventions in the United States.
“They will be starting at zero in a new country,” Stanton wrote on the fundraiser page. “In addition to the culture shock, they will face innumerable obstacles, including the need to learn an entirely new language. As they attempt to get their footing, they will be provided with little more than the bare minimum needed to subsist.”
What Happens Now
Stanton partnered with the nonprofit Together Rising to receive the funds and ensure families get all of the money, without conflicting with other sources of aid.
Like us, the photographer-blogger was floored by the generosity of the fundraisers, and in a Facebook post, he chalked it up to the community, who have also supported past fundraisers to send kids to Harvard and end bonded labor.
“I think the HONY community is largely composed of people who try to choose compassion over cynicism, and that’s why we’ve been able to accomplish so much this year. In short—this is a group of people who ‘shows up.’”
The HONY campaign is one of many incredible campaigns that have emerged on Generosity to support refugees.
Donate to HONY or one of the 100 amazing campaigns featured in our Syrian collection.