CHICAGO — An online fundraiser has brought in thousands for a family who, fearing deportation or being separated, was recorded sleeping on a Blue Line this week.
More than 300 donors had given $9,300 as of Thursday morning, about a day after the campaign had started, to help the family of eight. Others have reached out to provide them with housing and supplies for day-to-day living.
The fundraiser was started by Alexis Aguilar, who wrote that she saw the family sleeping on the train during her morning commute Tuesday. Aguilar took a video, showing a young girl laying in the middle of the train floor while relatives slept on seats around her, and posted it to Facebook. The post was widely shared by people trying to find and help the family.
Several people spotted the family at various points, with one man telling the Tribune that family members asked him for help and said they left their living place because it seemed as if deportations were increasing and they worried they’d be separated.
The family was fearful, though, and kept leaving when people tried to speak to them and help them, according to the Tribune.
A group of people eventually found the family and was able to convince them to accept help, giving them a place to stay. The immigration status of each member of the family is not clear, according to the Tribune.
With the family found, Aguilar started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help the family “get on track,” as she wrote. She’s also accepting supplies that can help the parents and their six children.
“We still need help — we need supplies, clothes, food, hygiene, the works!!” Aguilar wrote on Facebook.