Politics: White House Asks Kickstarter to Help Refugees

In a departure from its usual policy, crowdfunding website Kickstarter launched a weeklong campaign last Tuesday to raise funds for Syrian refugees. The site agreed to break its own rules, which prohibit charity efforts on the site, after being approached by officials from the White House Office of Digital Strategy. The site designed a custom page for the campaign and agreed to donate any money it raised to the United Nations Refugee Agency, which also marks a breach of Kickstarter protocol that only distributes money if the entire goal is raised. “We thought, at the White House’s invitation, that we can make a modest but positive impact on this really global, extraordinary crisis,” Kickstarter spokesman Justin Kazmark told The Huffington Post. The campaign specifies what certain donations will gives refugees: $15 provides a mat and sleeping bag for one, $30 provides drinking water for 50 people. Within two days, Kickstarter has raised over a million dollars, which it states is enough to give “immediate necessities and a place to sleep for 7,500 people in need.” The campaign still has five days to go.

Contributor: Celeste Montaño

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