A crowdfunding campaign for a toddler orphaned after his parents were murdered during the Highland Park shooting July 4 has shattered a $500,000 goal, bringing in more than $2 million in just 24 hours.
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The little boy — too young to know his parents’ names — was reportedly bloodied and wandering the streets of Highlight Park, Illinois, after a gunman killed seven people and wounded 30 others.
The child, named as 2-year-old Aiden McCarthy in a GoFundMe description, was later placed in the care of his grandparents after it was discovered his parents, Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were killed, Mediate reported.
The GoFundMe campaign was organized by a woman named Irina Colon, who said she has the family’s permission to raise monies to help Aiden.
“In the aftermath of the Highland Park, IL, shootings on July 4, the North Shore community rallied to help a boy who we knew nothing about,” she wrote. “We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family.”
Locals reportedly discovered the boy, and photos were subsequently shared on social media to find his family. Dana and Greg Ring told CBS News they found the child with another resident who was in shock, so they cared for him.
“We took the little boy,” Greg Ring told the outlet. “I put him in my arms.”
Aiden was later reunited with his grandparents. Colon said the child has tragically been left in an “unthinkable position” and will grow up without his mom and dad. She said he will need support as he progresses and processes all that unfolded.
“Aiden will be cared for by his loving family, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan,” she continued. “He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”
Colon said the fundraiser will help Aiden and his caretakers provide for him now and in the future. Find out more about the GoFundMe here.
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