If you gather enough snowflakes, you can create an avalanche.

Thousands of worthy organizations rely on individual donations to do good work in the world. And there are millions of people who feel compelled to donate, but they might think their modest contributions won't really make a difference.

But they do — especially when enough people show up. When we hear about a major donation, it's easy to think that those are the ones that really make a difference. And, no doubt, those windfalls create big opportunities.


Las Americas, an advocacy group that provides legal representation for immigrants, received a $100,000 donation from Priorities USA — which had a huge impact. "We are all crying in the break room," wrote one of the organization's employees. "Our legal staff is 5 people (2 of us in stipends) and one attorney with at least 300 open cases and clients. This is going to expand the number of people we can help by so much."

But whether it's one person or organization giving $100,000, 100 people giving $1,000 each, or 10,000 people giving $10 each, the effect is the same. For nonprofits, every dollar counts, and the more people they have supporting them, the better.

A viral fundraiser succeeded beyond any expectation — with donations averaging around $38.

When the Trump administration enacted a sweeping policy of separating children from parents at the border, people of all beliefs and backgrounds were appalled. One couple started a Facebook fundraiser to raise money for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a Texas-based legal aid organization serving refugees and immigrants. It went wildly viral, and in less than a week raised more than $17 million.

We do not have the words to thank Charlotte and Dave Willner. Thanks is inadequate for the work these funds will make...

Posted by RAICES on Monday, June 18, 2018

As of this writing, almost 450,000 people have donated to the RAICES fundraiser — a participation level that calculates to an average donation around $38 each. Obviously, some people gave more than that, which means some gave less. And yet all of those individual dollars came together to form an avalanche of funds to help.

"We've been occasionally crying around the office all day when we check the fundraising totals," the organization wrote on Facebook. "... There are terrible things happening in the world. And there are many people who are deciding not to look away but to do something. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

Another nonprofit group has raised millions using a model of intentionally small donations — where no one gives more than $25.

Known for their "Love Flash Mobs," Together Rising encourages huge participation with small amounts of money. Love Flash Mobs are time-limited fundraisers — usually less than a day for a specific cause, shared through social media. Most Together Rising fundraising campaigns cap donations at $25 — people are asked not to give more. This practice ensures that "every giver is equally vital to meeting the specific need," according to the organization.

The organization has raised funds for refugees in Greece, abandoned kids in Indianapolis, opioid recovery for pregnant teens, and more. In May 2018, it raised $1 million in just nine hours to help get legal aid to families at the border. Here's the update on the impact of those funds:

HERE'S HOW YOU ARE SERVING THE SEPARATED BORDER FAMILIES TODAY -- UPDATE #2!Two weeks ago, we came together in a...

Posted by Together Rising on Friday, June 15, 2018

Don't let having little to give discourage you from giving.

In a perfect world, we wouldn't need to have fundraisers to support people's basic needs and human rights, but here we are. And a whole lot of "little" adds up to a lot. If everyone with the means gave small amounts on a regular basis, imagine the avalanche of generosity it would create.

Former President George W. Bush and current president Donald Trump may both be Republicans but they have contrasting views when it comes to immigration.

Trump has been one of the most anti-immigrant presidents of recent memory. His Administration separated undocumented families at the border, placed bans on travelers from majority-Muslim countries, and he's proudly proclaimed, "Our country is full."

George W. Bush's legacy on immigration is a bit more nuanced. He ended catch-and-release and called for heightened security at the U.S.-Mexico border, but he also championed an immigration bill that created a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people.

Unfortunately, that bill did not pass.

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Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
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It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

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I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

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Roland Pollard and his 4-year-old daughter Jayden have been doing cheer and tumbling stunts together since Jayden could walk. When you see videos of their skills, the level of commitment is apparent—as is the supportive relationship this daddy has with his daughter.

Pollard, a former competitive cheerleader and cheer coach, told In The Know that he didn't expect Jayden to catch on to her flying skills at age 3, but she did. He said he never pressures her to perform stunts and that she enjoys it. And as a viral video of Jayden almost falling during a stunt shows, excelling at a skill requires good teaching—something Pollard appears to have mastered.

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