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Money pouring in to support children of Alton Sterling, family of Philando Castile

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In less than a day, nearly 15,000 people raised close to half a million dollars for a college fund for Alton Sterling’s five children.

The GoFundMe page was set up by Issa Rae, a writer and actress, who has no formal connection to the Sterlings but felt compelled to do something in the wake of Sterling’s killing.

“If you feel helpless, but want to play a small part in easing the burden of #AltonSterling’s family, consider donating to this scholarship fund for his 15-year-old son (and his other kids),” she wrote on the fundraising page.

Sterling was fatally shot by police in Baton Rouge on Tuesday. During a family news conference, his older son, Cameron, sobbed uncontrollably in the arms of the men standing with him and wailed, “I want my Daddy.”

Rae hoped to raise $40,000 for each child’s future college education, but far exceeded that goal.

The crowdfunding site has become the immediate response to tragedy, providing an outlet for people to do something positive with their grief and outrage.

Pages have also been set up for the family of Philando Castile, who was killed in his car by police in St. Paul, Minn., on Wednesday while driving with his girlfriend and her daughter. The first account was created early Thursday by writer and director Xavier Burgin and already raised more than $38,500. He has since linked to another page started by Castile’s sister, Allysza, where she writes that it is the official family account for Castile.

She wrote that her brother was “gunned down by Saint Anthony police for no reason.”

“At this time the family is grieving we just lost a very good man never in trouble a law abiding citizen,” she wrote. “Please donate anything to help contribute to his homecoming and family. I love you brother — your little big sis Allysza.”

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