Viral Tweets Helped Raise Millions For The Churches That Burned Down In Louisiana


A series of viral tweets from reporter Yashar Ali helped raise more than $1.9 million for the Louisiana churches that were destroyed by an arsonist this month.

Ali tweeted about the churches after the Notre Dame Cathedral was nearly destroyed in a fire on Monday. Shortly after firefighters saved the frame of the church, reports poured in that French billionaires had already pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to restore the cathedral. In response, Ali took to Twitter and noted that "the rebuild of Notre Dame will be well funded.'

"In the past month, three historically black churches in Louisiana were destroyed by a racist arsonist," he added. "He has been charged with hate crimes, but these churches need your help. Please join me in donating."


Ali kicked off the funding by donating $1,000 of his own money and linking to a GoFundMe page for the churches. His tweet immediately caught fire, and throughout the day Ali retweeted people who were pledging to donate. In one 21 minute span, Ali said the page raised $10,000 dollars. 

He started the campaign on Tuesday morning, and by Thursday afternoon his original tweet had been re-tweeted over 31,000 times and the GoFundMe page had raised over $1.9 million. 

"FOLKS! We are in the home stretch!" Ali tweeted Wednesday night. "We have raised $1.7 million and the $1.8 million goal is just around the corner!!! I AM GOING TO FAINT!"

By Thursday morning, the GoFundMe had passed the $1.8 million goal. It showed no signs of slowing down on Thursday afternoon.

Cover image via Sharaf Maksumov /


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