Hawzah News Agency (Pittsburgh, US) -“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action,” the Launch Good campaign information said.
Its message resounded. “Muslims Unite for Pittsburgh Synagogue” met its initial $25,000 goal in six hours.
As more money came in, the campaign upped the goal four times. The last goal of $150,000 was reached in 50 hours. A total of 5,820 donors gave $238,634 — nine times the original $25,000 goal.
CelebrateMercy was founded by University of Tennessee graduate Tarek El-Messidi in 2013 to spread message about the Prophet (PBUH).
The effort was viral, praised by CBS’ “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert and Whoopi Goldberg of “The View.” Actor Ashton Kutcher wrote about it on Facebook, and “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling tweeted about it.
“It amazed me, and it really inspired me personally. I’ve seen people respond before, but this was on another level,” El-Messidi said.
El-Messidi said CelebrateMercy is now deciding what projects to fund. “It will be like giving grants. We haven’t been in this position before. We have always been the ones asking for money.”