When Brandon Stanton started his page, Humans of New York, he couldn’t have imagined it would blow up in the way it did. Initially, he was just looking for a way to advance his photography career and help others. Well, he has accomplished that and much, much more.
Recently, Stanton and his fans made GoFundMe history when they raised over $1 million for Rohingya refugees — in just four days, no less. The money will now be used to build houses for the thousands of refugees who are crossing into Bangladesh from Myanmar.
The GoFundMe page explains that each house will cost roughly $630 to build and can host a family of six. The most vulnerable families (based on their status with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)) will be assigned to the homes.
“The houses we are helping to build are special. They are made of bamboo. They have two bedrooms, which will allow a small degree of privacy and dignity for large families. They have a kitchen area. These things sound simple, but under the current conditions, they represent a huge leap in comfort and security,” explains Stanton via GoFundMe.
According to GoodNewsNetwork, the fundraiser was started in partnership with Love Army. The collaborative charity organization is made up of YouTube creators, actors, and celebrities. Social media star Jerome Jarre founded Love Army in March 2017 to raise money for the Somalian famine. Activists have since raised $9 million for the heroes of the Las Vegas shooting. Since the organization was started, Jarre has spent several months “on the ground in Bangladesh” helping with the refugee crisis.
The campaign organized by Stanton and Love Army is the fastest to raise $1 million, says GoFundMe. “Love Army has partnered with the American Refugee Committee and local NGOs such as OBAT Helpers to make sure that every dollar is spent in the most effective way. The houses are being built by refugees themselves, so even the labor costs are funneled back into the community. All of Love Army’s overhead costs are covered through privately sourced funds, which means 100% of your donations will go directly to the construction of houses!”
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Image Featured/Credit: Wikimedia Commons