Last Saturday, actor and CrowdRise co-founder Edward Norton launched a new fundraiser for a Syrian refugee whose story had gone viral thanks to Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York (HONY) and President Obama.
Stanton shared the CrowdRise fundraiser around 5pm on Saturday evening and within an hour the fundraiser had already raised over $100,000 for the The Scientist, a Syrian refugee featured in his “The Syrian American” series.
Since then, the fundraiser has received over 13,000 donations and has raised over $380,000. The average donation to the page is roughly $30. In a statement released to the press the company explains that this is, “A perfect example of what CrowdRise is about – the power of the crowd to drive impact.”
Earlier this week, Norton was moved to tears upon reading the story of an unnamed man, referred to as “The Scientist” who speaks openly about losing his wife, his home, his personal belongings, and fleeing his village.
“I saw the story and was so compelled by it. This man has suffered profound loss that would crush the spirit of many people and yet he still passionately wants a chance to contribute positively to the world. I thought the President’s words were so apt, ‘You’re part of what makes America great.’ I wanted to do something to echo that sentiment,” said Norton. “If we don’t welcome people like this into our communities and empower his dream of making an impact with his life, then we’re not the country we tell ourselves we are.”
Donors flocked to the CrowdRise page with encouraging remarks like, “I think this highly educated and virtuous man deserves a chance for better life. I was moved to tears by his story,” and “I hope that you are able to prosper in the United States. We all see that you exist. You have already had a great impact on many of our lives.”
This CrowdRise fundraiser is an example of an ongoing trend of individuals starting fundraisers to assist friends and family through the power of crowdfunding. CrowdRise, the world’s largest platform dedicated exclusively to charitable causes, has recently seen tens of thousands of passionate individuals launch campaigns like Norton’s, to fundraise on behalf of a loved one in need.
Norton’s fundraiser repurposes the story of The Scientist to reflect Stanton’s signature style. Craig Newmark of craigconnects, encouraged donors by offering an additional $10,000 in matching funds to the campaign. To read the full story, see all the photos, republished courtesy of HONY, and donate, please visit crowdrise.com/the-scientist.