A 6-year-old wanted to help undocumented immigrants whose families were split apart near the U.S. southern border. So he set up a lemonade stand with the goal of raising $1,000 for those families.
But the modest call for doing a small bit of help soon turned out much more than the intended goal, raising more than $13,000 in total.
Shannon Gaggero’s son was concerned about the children who were being separated from their parents upon entering the U.S., a policy that was put in place by President Donald Trump.
“It tugged at his heart strings,” Gaggero explained. “For kids, the concept of being separated from your parents is very real and very scary.”
The discussion soon moved into ways in which they could help these families.
“What about a lemonade stand?” the boy asked.
Gaggero said she thought that was perfect.
“We were like, 'That’s a great idea, it’s hot as Hades in Atlanta,'” she said.
The family created a Facebook page to create awareness about the lemonade stand and to allow others to donate to a “virtual” stand if they wanted to help out. The in-person fundraising did surpass its goal, raising $1,100. The online fundraiser did even better, bringing the total raised to $13,283.
The money will go to an organization called the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Service, or RAICES, the same organization that “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon gave to earlier this week. Another popular Facebook fundraiser that went viral for RAICES raised $20 million after news of the separation policy spread.
The outpouring for these families is indeed inspirational — but it cannot end here. Despite an executive order signed by Trump ending the separation of families, thousands of parents and children remain separated, with many more still detained at the border.
A reasonable approach to reforming our immigration laws is sorely needed, one that keeps in mind that the individuals seeking asylum in the United States are worthy of having their basic human rights respected. This administration, unfortunately, isn’t interested in crafting such a policy.
It will take pressure from citizens (like the Gaggeros and others) to push Trump (or maybe Congress) to do the right thing. And if those lawmakers fail to do so, then new ones should take their places who will legislate with compassion in mind.
Banner/thumbnail image credit: Tariq786/Pixabay