Atlanta lemonade stand raises $13K for separated immigrant families

Children hold signs in front of a lemonade stand to raise money for families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

When an Atlanta mother told her two young children about families being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, her 6-year-old son suggested starting a lemonade stand to help.

Shannon Cofrin Gaggero set a goal of $1,000, an amount she considered ambitious. A week later, the online and in-person campaign has raised nearly 13 times that amount.

The family and other volunteers hosted the lemonade stand and bake sale in Virginia-Highland on Sunday. While that event netted $1,100, the majority of donations — more than 200 of them — have come from the paired virtual Facebook event.

The local fundraiser follows the trend of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide donating to nonprofit organizations, prompted by images and audio of children crying for their parents. A Silicon Valley couple, David and Charlotte Willner, has raised more than $20,000,000.

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Like the Willner’s fundraiser, the Gaggero’s proceeds will go to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Service, or RAICES, a Texas nonprofit that offers free and low-cost legal services to immigrants.

Gaggero, author of the blog "A Striving Parent," is not new to organizing these types of events. She previously helped start a parenting group to discuss issues of race and privilege at Charis Books and More.

The Gaggero fundraiser, which Shannon Cofrin Gaggero said prompted a few satellite lemonade stands across the country, is scheduled to end at midnight.

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