A Republican office was attacked. Here's how Democrats helped in response.

People across the political spectrum condemned the attack.

A Republican Party outpost in Orange County, North Carolina, was firebombed over the weekend. Luckily, nobody was hurt.

An already tense election season took a turn for the worse as pictures emerged showing the charred aftermath of what some were quick to label an act of political terrorism.

While it's unclear who carried out the attack, it was quickly condemned by people from across the political spectrum.

Presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump offered short statements via their Twitter accounts on Sunday afternoon.


Trump's chosen rhetoric, assigning blame to Clinton and North Carolina Democrats, didn't seem to bode well for anyone hoping for a calm, level-headed investigation into the attack.

A few short hours later, a group of Democrats did something many would have considered unthinkable just a day earlier: They gave money to the Republican Party.

Led by David Weinberger, a senior researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, a small group of Democrats launched a GoFundMe campaign to help the Republicans rebuild and reopen the office. Within hours, they raised more than $13,000 from 550 donors.

"As Democrats, we are starting this campaign to enable the Orange County, North Carolina Republican office to re-open as soon as possible," reads a statement on the GoFundMe page. "Until an investigation is undertaken, we cannot know who did this or why. No matter the result, this is not how Americans resolve their differences."

Helping the GOP reopen its Orange County office seems like a noble thing to do, but not all Democrats agreed with the decision.

Some pointed to the fact that there's still no way to know who carried out the attack or what their political leanings are — as Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo notes, situations that look like politically-motivated attacks aren't always what they seem. Others noted the fact that any damage to the office would likely be covered by insurance.

Photo by Jonathan Drew/AP.

The attack was wrong — that is something we can all agree on. Giving money to the Republican party in North Carolina, however? The same party that tried to enact a voter ID law designed to disenfranchise people of color? The same party that pushed through virulently anti-LGBTQ legislation? To some Democrats, that didn't make sense.

Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images.

A list of North Carolina organizations in desperate need of funding quickly popped up on social media for people in search of a good cause to donate to instead of (or in addition to) the GOP.

Among organizations listed were relief funds set up to help the people of Fair Bluff and Lumberton, still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Others recommended the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, LGBTQ legal organization Lambda Legal, a University of North Carolina scholarship fund set up in honor of Muslim students killed in a hate crime last year, North Carolina Justice Center's Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Equality NC, the ACLU of North Carolina, the Carolina Justice Policy Center, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Southerners on New Ground, and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

A man in Lumberton, North Carolina, walks down a flooded street in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

The response to the attack — whether or not donating money to the North Carolina Republican Party is the morally right response — is one on which reasonable people disagree, and that's OK.

In the end, nobody got hurt, the GOP office has funds to reopen, and hopefully, some money that wouldn't have otherwise been donated made its way to a few important charitable causes.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

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Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

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Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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