Repel evil with good, LaunchGood owner says, as fundraiser for synagogue shooting victims exceeds $150,000 target
- 31 October 2018
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In the aftermath of the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting that left 11 people dead, two Muslim-American groups launched a fundraiser on crowdfunding platform LaunchGood. Six hours later, the campaign had smashed through the initial goal of $25,000. In a day’s time, it had met a revised target of $150,000. The campaign has now raised more than $180,000 from more than 4,300 supporters, presenting a brilliant story of Muslims uniting in solidarity with other faiths.
My Salaam caught up with Christopher Blauvelt Abdur Rahman, owner of LaunchGood, who was in Dubai to attend the Global Islamic Economy Summit. “Right now, in America and in other parts of the world, we are seeing a wave of hate,” Blauvelt said. “Sometimes it is against Muslims, immigrants, Jews or different minorities, and that is against our values as Muslims. This campaign is our chance to show what we stand for.”
“It was an initial fund of $25,000. But now it has raised close to $200,000. The message we want to take forward is ‘repel evil with good’. That’s how you change people’s hearts,” he added.
The LaunchGood campaign was set up by the organisations Celebrate Mercy and MPower Change. “Through this campaign, we hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate and violence in America,” the campaign’s organizers announced.
LaunchGood is technically a crowdfunding platform, but Blauvelt sees it as a storytelling platform as well where every campaign is a chapter in the storybook of all the good that Muslims are capable of doing in this world.
“We want people to come to our platform [and] feel inspired, feel empowered, and take some action themselves,” he said. “For example, we had this campaign for this Jewish synagogue, and a day after that there was another attack on this black church, and it killed a couple of people outside the church, and now we are working with another group of Muslims to raise money for those victims.”
According to the LaunchGood website, it has so far raised $56,434,786 in 5,352 campaigns.
(Writing by Seban Scaria.)
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