Facebook Live fundraiser helps immigrant families affected by ICE arrests

DURHAM (WTVD) -- A 12-hour virtual telethon on Facebook Live brought together creative people in the Triangle and beyond.

"Artists from all over the world, honestly! We have people from Mexico City, Los Angeles, I think Washington as well," said Roberto Varela of Siembra NC, "Washington State. You name it, all over the place. And we're just trying to put some focus on our community."

He lives and works in Durham but grew up in Virginia, and friends in both states are among the performers and contributors working to convince viewers that their stimulus checks can help immigrant mothers whose husbands were detained by ICE recently. They're calling the effort the #ShareYourCheck Challenge.

"Some people out there may be able to donate their stimulus checks for a great cause like this," Varela said. "All that money is going to go to covering those legal fees, feeding hungry people."

They hope to raise at least $5,000 from people who appreciate what unfolds during the Facebook Live, from traditional musical performances to kitchen segments, even yoga instruction.

Organizers say you don't have to speak Spanish to help out. Two online hosts are fluent speakers of more than one language.

"Bilingual, Spanglish, a little bit of everything! It's very representative of who we are in the LatinX community. Everyone is welcome too. This is an open, free, safe space to join us," Varela said. "We really appreciate and there are families out there that are gonna be super appreciative of our small efforts."

You can pledge online here and the Facebook Live page is Sabador Gigante: A Telethon for Families Facing Detention.
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