‘Just Really Nice People’: The Facebook Fundraiser Launched by Charlotte and Dave Willner ’06 to Help Reunite Separated Immigrant Families Now Tops $20 Million

Dave and Charlotte Willner, both of the Class of 2006, with President Clayton Rose in March 2017.

It began with a simple goal: Reach out via Facebook to raise $1,500 to help reunite undocumented families that have been separated at the US-Mexico border.

’Just really nice people’
Read Portland Press Herald coverage of the Willners, which includes mention of their time at Bowdoin.

Within days the effort spearheaded by Charlotte and Dave Willner, both of the Class of 2006, has gone viral, spinning into a $4,000-per-minute storm of goodwill that reportedly has raised more than $20 million, as of June 29, 2018.

“These aren’t kids we don’t have to care about. They’re like our kids,” Charlotte Willner told the San Jose Mercury News. “When we look at the faces of these children, we can’t help but see our own children’s faces.”

The Willners began their careers at Facebook in 2007. Charlotte is now safety manager at Pinterest and Dave moved on to Airbnb, where he is head of community policy. Read about their visit to campus in March 2017.

9 thoughts on “‘Just Really Nice People’: The Facebook Fundraiser Launched by Charlotte and Dave Willner ’06 to Help Reunite Separated Immigrant Families Now Tops $20 Million

  1. Michele Garnes

    Thank you Dave & Charlotte. This is an incredible venture. Please update this heartwarming story with your goals & successes in reuniting these separated immigrant families.

    Thank you!

  2. Dorothy VanDeCarr

    Reuniting families…

    Might it be possible to identify and connect people that share compelling, common and unique memories? I realize that this would take a lot of people-power, time and organization to record, but it seems of better use than a number, and clearly the various systems that are imprisoning these children are not sharing identifiers. For example if someone passed along the name of my young daughter’s favorite stuffed animal, I would immediately recognize it as coming from her and no one else. And she in turn, although young, could both produce this information and know that I, as her mother would recognize it.

  3. Meena kukreja

    Thank you Dave and Charlotte but please do not give all the money to RAICES . Keep some for the following:
    Offer $5000.00 to any employee at the children internment camp if he cares enough for the welfare of the child to reveal to u the identity of the child and where he was brought from

  4. Meena kukreja

    Please keep some money to offer to the employee at the children internment camp camp as reward if they reveal to u the identity of the child and where he was brought from
    Dr k

  5. Trina Fluur

    Please update on how the funds are being distributed.We need to see the immigrant families receiving relief in this horrid situation.

  6. Linda ott

    I’m embarrassed to say, I just read about your fundraiser in Time Magazine…..we so applaud you for your love of humanity, and particularly the children of immigrants and refugees. What fantastic people you both are in the world!

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