A GoFundMe set up for a toddler who lost both his parents during Monday’s Fourth of July shooting in Highland Park, Illinois has raised over $2 million. The fundraiser broke its goal of $500,000 within less than 2 hours of being set up and is near $2.5 million as of Wednesday with over forty-five thousand donations. The account is set up for a 2-year-old boy, identified as Aiden McCarthy, who was found wandering the streets after an armed gunman began shooting at parade-goers. His parents, Irina and Kevin McCarthy were tragically killed during the shooting.
During the mayhem, Aiden was found by Dana and Greg Ring. The boy was with a stranger whom Dana Ring described as being in shock so the two decided to take the boy and bring him to the fire department. They eventually took him to Dana Ring’s parents’ home nearby where he was playing with their children when detectives picked him up. The boy’s photo was shared around until he was reunited with his grandparents.
As the tragic details began to unfold about the child’s loss of both his parents, the community rallied behind the boy to help. A woman named Irina Colon established the GoFundMe for Aiden, writing in the summary, “Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help. His parents Irina & Kevin were killed during the July 4 shooting. At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents…I am establishing this fundraiser to support him and the caregivers who will be tasked with raising, caring for, and supporting Aiden…”
In a news cycle that has been so filled with tragedy, to see so many people rally behind little Aiden has been a refreshing reminder of the way people can pull together in times of tragedy. “I don’t know if Aiden will ever read these notes,” wrote Brady Cook, one of the donors to the fund, “but I hope that if he does, he realizes how many people love him. Don’t let the madness of one psychopath cloud the fact that there are literally thousands of people that want to help…We got your back Aiden!”