After calling the Army veteran who died while rescuing neighbors from the deadliest fire New York City has seen in decades a “hero,” actress Alyssa Milano is asking her fans to donate to the victims’ funeral funds.
The “Charmed” actress, who was born in Brooklyn and grew up on Staten Island, tweeted a link on Monday night to a GoFundMe page dedicated to raising money for the families of those who lost their lives in the fire that broke out at a five-story apartment building near East 187th Street in Belmont just days after Christmas.
“I donated. Will you?” Milano wrote to her nearly 4 million Twitter followers after contributing to the fund. The link she shared was first posted by writer Baratunde Thurston, of “The Daily Show,” who wrote, “After the deadliest fire in Bronx history, we need to raise $120K for funeral funds. Please give or share this call.”
Though Milano didn’t share how much she chose to donate to the cause, her name follows a $100 donation made Monday night. Several donations nearing $500 were shared anonymously.
Two days prior, Milano retweeted a New York Post article shared by @VoteVets revealing that a 26-year-old Army National Guard soldier, Emmanuel Mensah, died while trying to remove people from the building safely. Mensah was among 12 who died in the fire.
The GoFundMe page was nearing $10,000 as of Tuesday afternoon. The fund, set up by Shanequa Charles of the Bronx, will also go toward the families of victims Gabriel Yaw Sarkookie, 48; Justice Opoku, 54; Solomon Donkor, 49; Hannah Donkor, 17; William Donkor; Karen Stewart Francis, 37; Charmela Francis, 7; Kylie Francis, 2; Shawntay Young, 19; Maria Batiz, 58; and Amora Batiz, 7 months.
Milano’s tweet to the fundraiser was retweeted and commented on by hundreds of her fans, some who questioned how the actress, whose financial troubles were brought to light in June 2017, had the money to share.
Milano is among those in the entertainment industry backing the #TimesUp legal defense fund fighting against sexual harassment and also recently donated $1,600 to a GoFundMe backing youth programs in public schools.