An online fundraising campaign for the family of the Chicago victim who was kidnapped and tortured pulled in eight times the amount it intended to raise.
A GoFundMe campaign started Jan. 5 with the intent to raise money for the Chicago assault victim and his family, reports CBS News.
As of this writing on Sunday afternoon the campaign, called “Let’s Show the Chicago Victim Love,” has raised $128,276 — that is $118,00 more than the target goal of $10,000 and the campaign has been shared on Facebook more than 29,000 times.
The GoFundMe page reads the following:
When I first established this fundraiser, I was hoping to raise about $5,000 for the victim (whose name is Austin) from a couple hundred people. I never imagined we’d be where we are today with more than $60,000 from over 2,000 people not a day and a half later… and still climbing! That’s heartwarming, and reaffirms the fact there are many, many good folks out there in our local and global communities that care and want to help others.
Heading into the weekend I thought I’d pass along a few quick updates from the family. They shared that “Austin is a little sore and moving slowly, but he has been more alert and has been enjoying food again, as well as playing some video games with his brothers.” In addition, he has been “amazed to see all the support and prayers he is receiving.”
For those that have asked about sending cards in the mail, the family has established an official P.O. Box and cards can be sent to:
P.O. Box 641
Cary, Illinois 60013
For those that want to send something but aren’t sure what, I have been told that Austin’s favorite sports team is the Chicago Bulls.
Lastly, I’ve seen a number of comments about the photo used in this fundraiser. This photo will remain up as a reminder of what happened and why we have all decided to want to help Austin, plus this image was already public whereas other photos of him would violate the privacy the family wishes to have at this time.
A Facebook Live video surfaced showing a group of black people allegedly torturing a white man with “mental health challenges,” police said. The group can be heard yelling “Fuck white people” and”Fuck Donald Trump.”
The victims endured hours of abuse as the group forced him to drink toilet water and repeatedly attacked him with a knife.
Police eventually arrested four suspects in connection to the crime. Brittany Covington, Tesfaye Cooper and Jordan Hill, 18, and 24-year-old Tanishia Covington were all charged with battery, kidnapping and hate crimes.
A judge denied the group bail and rebuked them during their hearing, asking “Where was your sense of decency?”
Bartlett Jackson, a GoFundMe regional communications manager, confirmed to CBS News that the family was working with the company on the fundraising campaign. The company will be working closely with the creator of the campaign to ensure the money reaches the family.