After news broke about the deplorable conditions at a border station in Clint, Texas, many felt stunned that children were being held without soap, diapers, toothbrushes or access to proper medical care. While some felt paralyzed, mom blogger-turned-bestselling author Glennon Doyle posted a message on Instagram urging people to donate to her nonprofit, Together Rising. She hoped to raise $240,000 to help the Immigration Law Clinic at UC Davis School of Law. In less than 24 hours the "Love Flash Mob" raised more than $1 million and $2 million in 48 hours.
“You raised $2,052,301 in two days for emergency response to, and long-term legal accountability for, the child detention crisis,” she shared on Instagram. "We live in hard, scary times. It’s enough to break your heart. But heartbreak is love. And love is the most powerful force on this Earth. Together, let’s keep unleashing it on the world forever."
Doyle is the author of "Love Warrior" and founded the nonprofit Together Rising, which raises money through Love Flash Mobs to help communities and people in crisis. The money being raised now, she said, will help lawyers protect children from abuse and harrowing conditions at immigration detention centers in the United States.
“Holly Cooper’s warrior legal team will receive more than they or we ever thought possible — this money will get them to centers to inspect and investigate abuse, interview the children, remove them to protect their health and safety, and build legal cases to demand these atrocities end," Doyle shared.
Cooper is one of several lawyers who participate in inspections of immigration detention centers as part of what's known as the Flores settlement, an agreement started in the 1990s to oversee safety and sanitation at such facilities, according to NBC News and the Associated Press. As co-director of the law clinic at Davis she also helps defend immigrant children being detained.
"In my 22 years of doing visits with children in detention, I have never heard of this level of inhumanity,” Cooper told the Associated Press about the conditions for children in detention centers right now.
This Love Flash Mob started with a social media post from Doyle with a haunting call to action: “Who will protect these imprisoned children — alone, sick terrified? Who will stop this child abuse? Who will hold the administration accountable for these horrors. You will."
Then she shared some heartbreaking details about the conditions children face in immigration detention centers. According to the Associated Press and NBC News, some of the children are wearing clothing covered in mucus and soaked in urine. None of children the lawyers interviewed had showered since crossing the border and most had untreated illnesses. Doyle's post shared similar stories of neglected young children.
Followers felt moved by the tragic details.
“My heart absolutely breaks for these babies,” one person wrote.
Another follower said her husband worked with Cooper to help children in detention centers.
“My husband is one of Holly’s lawyers," she wrote. "We are SO proud of him and he is now crying at this outpouring of help — he knows it will help get him back to help more kids. THANK YOU.”