05/20/2015 10:11 am ET Updated May 20, 2015

San Francisco Blogger Helps Raise $180K For Fire Victims

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Zack Crockett's story is the perfect example of how a little bit of kindness can have lasting effects. Armed with a laptop and a big heart, the San Francisco-based blogger was able to raise over $180,000 to help his community.

In January, the 27-year-old was returning home from work when he witnessed a massive fire in his neighborhood, San Francisco's Mission District. As he watched the flames engulf a residential building, he couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that “inside of each one of these windows was someone’s life.”

Crockett soon found out that the building was home to many low-income Latino families. He explained, “This wasn’t just an apartment [building], it was a community. It was a special place.”

Crockett went home and decided to start a GoFundMe campaign to help his neighbors in need. GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform that allows people to raise money for various causes. “I had never done anything like this before,” Crockett said. “I had no idea what I was doing.”

Crockett’s goal was to raise $2,000, but after spreading the word amongst his friends and family, he raised $8,000 in just one day. He recognized an opportunity to do more, so he teamed up with the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), a nonprofit that seeks to “achieve economic justice for San Francisco’s low- and moderate-income Latino families through asset development.”

The fundraiser attracted over 2,300 donors and helped dozens of families in the Mission. “I think this whole thing, it’s made me realize how incredibly easy it is to make a change,” Crockett added. “I don’t see why everyone doesn’t do it.”

*Mission Fire footage courtesy of Mission Local.



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