Twitter success story: Strangers help activist raise funds to rescue North Korean refugee

With all the squabbles, mockery and trolling on Twitter, it can be easy to forget what a truly powerful platform we have at our disposal. Over the last week, Commentary social media associate Bethany Mandel harnessed that power to make a huge difference in one North Korean refugee’s life.

Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are desperate to escape to countries that offer asylum, but don’t have the money to fund their journey to freedom. Even those that make it to China face repatriation and death if captured.

After reading about the refugees’ struggles, Mandel used social media to raise the $2,500 needed to help one refugee escape the threat of oppression, imprisonment, torture and execution.

With almost 17,000 refugees that have made it to South Korea, and less than 100 to the US, hundreds of thousands still wait in the underground for an opportunity to escape – we have a chance to respond NOW.

LiNK needs $2,500 per refugee to cover necessary costs such as food, shelter, transit, guides, paperwork and other incurred expenses throughout the journey.

LiNK is an organization that provides emergency relief to refugees and works with underground shelters in China to help resettle escapees in countries that provide asylum.

Mandel asked and the Twitterverse delivered.

In just one week, she was able to raise over $2,500 for LiNK.

In a comment on the donation page, Mandel wrote, “I’ve gotten donations of $250 and $350 from perfect strangers that followed me on Twitter. I had never once interacted with them. They just felt the need to give. Unreal.”

Mandel’s Twitter followers celebrated the fundraiser’s success.

Fantastic job, Bethany. From all of us at Twitchy, thank you for your leadership, hard work, and unwavering dedication to the cause of freedom.

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