College Fund For Shot Man’s Children Raises Over $400K

Crowdfunding efforts for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile offer grieving strangers a way to help

Jul 07, 2016 at 4:22 PM ET

Crowdfunding efforts for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two black men killed in within a day of each other by white police officers, have raised thousands of dollars in the last 24 hours—channeling the outpouring of grief into a small silver lining for mourning families.

All proceeds from the main fundraiser for Alton Sterling, set up by actress and writer Issa Rae, will go to a college funds for his five children, the fundraiser page says. Sterling, 37, was killed Tuesday in Baton Rouge. While Rae does not appear to have made contact with Sterling’s family yet, she wrote in an update that she spoke with their lawyer.

“Some of us feel helpless when these things happen, but that’s a small step,” Rae tweeted. In just 24 hours, she has raised more than $400,000—or $80,000 for each of Sterling’s children.

Xavier Burgin, a writer and director, is similarly hoping his celebrity will publicize a fundraiser for Philando Castile’s family. Castile was shot and killed Wednesday in Minneapolis.

“I want to try and use my platform to help in a tangible way as well,” he wrote on the campaign’s page. Burgin tweeted that he has reached out to Castile’s family on Facebook and over email but has not yet made contact with them. The campaign has raised nearly $16,000 so far.

Campaigns set up by people who appear to be family members of the men are also on the site, with a Sandra Sterling running a fundraiser to “send Alton Sterling home in style” that has earned more than $18,000 and someone named “Allysza” raising money for Castile, who she says is her brother. That fundraiser has earned about $2,000.