Couples raises more than $4.5 million on Facebook to reunite immigrant families

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Raices thanked the Willners and supporters, saying the donations will change lives.

“We’ve been occasionally crying around the office all day when we check the fundraising totals. This is such a profound rejection of the cruel policies of this administration,” Raices said in a statement. “And there are many people who are deciding not to look away but to do something. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

The Willners said in a statement, “We can’t all be on the frontlines to help these families, but by supporting RAICES, we’re able to do something that just takes less than a minute, and collectively have an impact.”

According to their alma mater, Bowdoin College in Maine, the Willners were early employees of Facebook: Charlotte was its 250th employee, and Dave was its 270th. He now works at Airbnb and Charlotte works at Pinterest, according to Scott Hood, Bowdoin’s senior vice president for communications.

The nonprofit they are donating to, Raices, is not the only one being flooded with support. Last Thursday — Trump’s 72nd birthday — celebrity couple Chrissy Teigen and John Legend donated $72,000 for each member of their family to the American Civil Liberties Union, and encouraged followers to donate $7.20 or $72 to help the ACLU in defending “the rights and humanity of these vulnerable families.”

Teigen later said that more than $1 million had been donated in just two days.

At Kids in Need of Defense, a Washington-based nonprofit that helps provide pro-bono legal services to unaccompanied children, there’s been an increase in not only monetary funds but other offers, too, said Megan McKenna, senior director of communications.

“People really do want to do something,” she said. “We’ve heard from photographers, journalists, musicians, writers, just to name a few, who really want to help in some way and to try to put an end to family separation.”

“It’s really heartening considering what’s going on and the daily suffering that’s going on, how people are really incredibly concerned, and want us to be the compassionate country that’s been our history,” she said.

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