The City of Perris set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for 13 siblings who had been abused and neglected for decades.
The goal: $10,000.
It was reached in a day. Less than three weeks after establishing the “Perris Victims of Neglect Fund,” the initial goal has nearly been quadrupled. The fund now totals $39,960 following a $10,000 donation from the City that was approved at the Jan. 30 Perris City Council meeting.
Perris elected representatives aren’t surprised at the generosity.
“The community response has been fantastic,” said Mayor Michael Vargas. “It shows that Perris is a caring community.”
Vargas said the City’s donation “reflects this community’s commitment, kindness and compassion.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Malcolm Corona called the case involving 13 adult and minor siblings “very tragic.”
“But it happened in a community that’s strong enough to come together and unite to help the victims,” he said. “I’m very proud to live in a city like that.”
City Councilwoman Tonya Burke said donations have poured in from around the country and overseas.
“The overwhelming support has been terrific,” she said, also pointing out that many donations have come from Perris residents and municipal employees.
The local support reinforces that Burke has always felt about Perris residents: “We truly are a family in Perris.
City Councilman David Starr Rabb said the generosity of donors who contributed to the City’s GoFundMe efforts “shows that people definitely” about the future of the siblings.
City Councilwoman Rita Rogers was the first person to make a donation. As a grandmother and great-grandmother, Rogers said she was particularly saddened by the reports of neglect.
“You can’t ask anyone else to contribute if you don’t contribute yourself,” she said. “People from all over the world are contributing. It just shows that everybody wants to do something.”