NEW YORK — Eleven Syrian refugee families will be receiving nearly $40,000 each when they establish their lives in America, all thanks to Humans of New York.
Brandon Stanton, the creator of the popular blog, began a 48-hour fundraiser on Christmas Eve to help 11 families he previously profiled throughout December.
“This Christmas, consider helping us give the gift of a fresh start,” Stanton wrote.
The fundraiser raised about $500,000 the first day.
“As of now, this is enough to provide each family with about $40,000. That is a large amount for anyone, but when you are starting from zero, it is all the money in the world,” Stanton said in a Facebook post on Christmas Day.
“These families lost everything in the war.”
A photo collage of nine of the families receiving the donation was posted with the message.
“For years they’ve been forced to stretch every dollar to provide for basic needs, so direct assistance will go a long way. Many of these families are large so we certainly can’t cover all their financial needs,” Stanton wrote on the fundraising page.
“But we can lighten the load and help ease the anxiety of starting over in a strange land. So please consider taking part in this gift by making a small donation.”
HONY fans did not disappoint. Aside from reaching the $100,000 target in less than 24 hours, the fundraiser completely exceeded its goal — by 753 percent, to be exact. Donations continued to pour in past the fundraiser’s deadline.
In six days, over 18,000 people raised $753,450.
Stanton said the money will be divided evenly between the refugee families.
“If any family chooses to decline assistance, their share will be allocated to the resettlement organization helping with their transition.”
Stanton began the blog in 2010, taking pictures of New Yorkers and collecting quotes and short stories to include in the photos’ captions. He expanded to other cities and countries in recent years.