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Celebrities support Sterling and Castile families by creating crowdfunding pages

GoFundMe totals near or surpass goals quickly

Celebrities, athletes and public figures have shown an outpouring of support after the latest shooting deaths of two black men by police officers.

On Wednesday, actress and producer Issa Rae created a GoFundMe page for the children of Alton Sterling, 37, who was shot and killed by police outside of a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday morning. After noting messages of helplessness and distress expressed by many on social media platforms, Rae posted the link for those willing to contribute.

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),” the statement on the page reads. “ALL funds raised will go to Alton Sterling’s family.”

In just nine hours, the $200,000 goal had been reached and now stands at more than $364,000.

Sterling’s aunt, Sandra, also created a fund for his funeral costs with a goal of $3,500. So far, nearly $18,500 has been raised.

Before the shock of Sterling’s death could wear off, another video emerged late Wednesday night of an officer-involved shooting that was captured via Facebook’s new live recording feature. In less than 24 hours, Philando Castile’s name would become a trending topic on Twitter, right above Sterling’s. The 32-year-old Castile was shot and killed by an officer during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. On Thursday morning, Castile’s mother, Valerie, spoke about the outrage she feels over her son’s death in her first interview on CNN’s show, New Day.

“It’s becoming more and more repetitive,” she told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. “Every day you hear of another black person being shot down — gunned down — by the people who are supposed to protect us.”

Los Angeles-based film director Xavier L. Burgin set up a page that has almost reached more than half of its $20,000 goal in 12 hours. Burgin will collect the money and give it to Castile’s family.

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.