Fundraiser to reunite separated immigrant families goes massively viral.

There are several ways to get involved.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

Three Facebook employees were heartbroken by the news of immigrant children being separated from their parents after being detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. So they decided to do something.

On June 16, they launched a fundraising campaign called "Reunite an immigrant parent with their child." It promised to deliver funds to The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a nonprofit that provides legal services to families who have been detained while attempting to cross the border.

Specifically, RAICES has two stated goals tied to this campaign:


  • Directly funding bonds to get parents out of detention and reunited with their children while awaiting court proceedings.
  • Ensuring legal representation for every child in a Texas immigration court.

In just four days, it has reached out an astounding $10 million in contributions from more than 260,000 individual donors.

In a statement posted to their Facebook page, RAICES said:

"We do not have the words to thank Charlotte and Dave Willner. Thanks is inadequate for the work these funds will make possible. We know it will change lives. We know it will save lives by keeping people from being deported to unsafe countries."

When the campaign started, it had a modest goal of a few thousand dollars. But the goal kept getting shattered as news of the campaign went viral. Three days later, the campaign hit a fundraising goal of $5 million coming from more than 127,000 individual donors.

Since then, the contributions have been snowballing at an epic level with no sign of slowing down.

For skeptics out there, the organizers have stated that Facebook is not taking fees from the campaign and the organizers have promised to deliver the raised funds to RAICES within 14 days of the campaign's completion.

"Until the election, I think there's little chance of a political solution to this grave American moral failing. But there is still something we can do," campaign co-founder Charlotte Wilner wrote on the fundraising Facebook page.

While $10 million is a hugely impressive number that will have real results, the sea of individual donors might be a more powerful message for elected officials.

It sends a strong message to public leaders that Americans demand humane policies — and they won't stand for it.

While most Americans are opposed to the White House policy of family separation, there is still strong support from Republican voters and officials. However, there are already cracks in what only days ago seemed like a united front, with Republicans breaking rank with Trump's handling of the issue.

Vocal statements like this campaign are essential to sending a clear message that even voters who favor strong enforcement of immigration laws will not tolerate the mistreatment of children and families.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Watching this story unfold across the news can make a lot of people feel helpless. But there are ways to help.

The White House has a significant amount of leeway in enforcing immigration policy and Trump appears to be digging his heels in. Short of waiting until this November's midterm elections, people are looking to do something now. This campaign is a good start, but here's what else you can do:

Update 6/20/2018: The great increase in amount of contributions the first few days of the campaign from $5 million to $10 million was added to this post as well as that it has become Facebook's most successful fundraising campaign ever.

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via Stratford Festival / Twitter

Service dogs are invaluable to their owners because they are able to help in so many different ways.

They're trained to retrieve dropped Items, open and close doors, help their owners remove their clothes, transport medications, navigate busy areas such as airports, provide visual assistance, and even give psychological help.

The service dog trainers at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs in Canada want those who require service dogs to live the fullest life possible, so they're training dogs on how to attend a theatrical performance.

The adorable photos of the dogs made their way to social media where they quickly went viral.

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"It's important to prepare the dogs for any activity the handler may like to attend," Laura Mackenzie, owner and head trainer at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs, told CBC.

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via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter

"About a dozen dogs came to our relaxed performance, and they were all extremely well-behaved," says Stratford Festival spokesperson Ann Swerdfager. "I was in the lobby when they came in, then they took their seats, then got out of their seats at intermission and went back — all of the things we learn as humans when we start going to the theater."

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The dogs' great performance at the trial run means that people who require service animals can have the freedom to enjoy special experiences like going to the theater.

"It's wonderful that going to the theater is considered one of the things that you want to train a service dog for, rather than thinking that theater is out of reach for people who require a service animal, because it isn't," Swerdfager said.

The Stratford Festival runs through Nov. 10 and features productions of "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "The Neverending Story," "Othello," "Billy Elliot," "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Crucible" and more.

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