The donations are rolling in.

The devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris led to an immediate outpouring of donations and an ambitious pledge by the French president to rebuild within five years. But a continent away, the blaze also spurred more than $1.8 million in donations to rebuild three historically black churches burned in suspected hate crimes in Louisiana.

The fires at the three churches in St. Landry Parish occurred over 10 days beginning at the end of March. Authorities said they were deliberately set and have arrested a suspect.

As of [last] Sunday, a GoFundMe campaign seeking donations for the churches had raised only about $50,000. By Thursday morning, donations had soared to more than $1.8 million. The money is to be distributed equally among the three churches, which were all a century old.

The churches are small and not ornate, so $600 k each should be a real help.

In the wake of pledges to rebuild Notre Dame, the GoFundMe campaign was shared widely on social media by prominent figures like Hillary Clinton, journalists such as CNN’s Jake Tapper and Yashar Ali, and various celebrities who pledged to match donations.

The first of the fires was reported on March 26 at St. Mary Baptist Church, the next on April 2 at Greater Union Baptist Church and the third on April 4 at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. There were no reported injuries at any of the fires.

Police later arrested Holden Matthews, 21, the son of a deputy sheriff, and he faces hate crime and arson charges.

“Redemption” is not over yet.

Updating to add: the sum now is $2,155,640.

Comments are closed.