GoFundMe permits updates on their platform; nonetheless, some donors questioned the legitimacy of my campaign as they were confused about my fundraising goal. They thought my cause had changed. In fact, my cause isn’t different. You donated towards my personal needs, as initially stated in my campaign, to support rent, food, utilities and transportation.
As you know, I have remained one of the most powerful advocates for migrant children terrorized at our southern border by the U.S. government.
What you didn't know is that I had to put my second IVF cycle on hold at Institute Marquès (@imarques_ES) to fight for Central American children being separated from their parents by The Trump-zero Tolerance policy on immigration. Read more: https://patriciaokoumou.com/blog/f/patreoncompatriciaokoumou.
Let’s not forget how I threw my body on the line in a manner many people dream of doing. Watch Democracy Now! (@DemocracyNow): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12UC55fSREA. Let’s not forget that I was incarcerated several times during my protests on behalf of the children in cages. Let’s not forget that the United States Department of Justice has me on a five-year probation and I had to complete 200 hours of community service. Let’s not forget that I am still facing charges in Austin, Texas for an eight-hour occupation of CEO Juan Sanchez Southwest Key Detention Center. Let’s not forget that Juan Sanchez did resign from his post of 30 years, subsequently 20 days following my climb.
I’ve never stopped being a strong voice for migrant children in cages. Check out an article Time Magazine published today (07/02/19): https://time.com/5615944/statue-of-liberty-climb-protest-family-separation/. Tempest Tossed has also just published a podcast about my story on Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/tempest-tossed/lady-liberty-her-history-and and iTunes
GoFundMe has asked and encouraged me to raise money for my IVF treatment and pregnancy. We have come to an agreement and understanding that proceeds from my campaign will go towards this cause as well. I see nothing wrong with it. There will not be a separate campaign though.
I am a one-person staff handling all my social media accounts on my own, including my website (http://www.patriciaokoumou.com) and scheduling interviews.
I want everyone to be clear on one important thing about me:
· There might come times when my needs to function as an advocate for social justice, equality and equity compel me to spend or write checks for posters, signs, messages, logos or banners; thus, money will sometimes go towards such effort in the hope of safeguarding our pursuit for a democratic nation. Many donors do not have a problem with these actions.
(Photo Credit: @elise299)
I'd like to emphasis how I have been and continue to be overwhelmed with your messages of love and solidarity from all over the world, especially during our Valentine’s Day Action. I am still very humbled and grateful for your past donations. I am even more committed to this fight with your help. You can pledge to donate on a monthly basis via Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/patriciaokoumou, PayPal: http://www.patriciaokoumou.com or check: Patricia Okoumou P.O. Box 10060, Staten Island, NY 10301.
If you recall, as we celebrate the one year anniversary of my climb onto the Statue of Liberty, I wanted to express the urgency of stopping our government’s inhumane treatment of migrant children. I wanted no one to forget that children have been put into cages and that we must do everything we can to stop the imprisonment of children.
Even today, many of these children are still in concentration camps. Toddlers are being asked to testify in court. Parents are still torn apart with grief and very little has been done to reunite these families. Tender-aged children are being ripped away from nursing mothers. Young children are sleeping on concrete floors and dying of respiratory illnesses. They are being housed in cells with no soap or other daily personal hygiene. Children are being forced to change babies soaked in diapers. If any one of us had their child locked in a garage without these necessities, Child Protective Services (CPS) and Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) will be charging us with child abuse, neglect and endangerment.
Please note that you will receive an email from GoFundMe informing you of this update and offering refunds to anyone who disagrees with my campaign. In the meantime, I am still determined to keep the focus on The Children for as long as it takes. I have had great support through this entire journey.
I would love to continue my activism while pregnant and after the birth of my child, but I cannot do it without adequate resources to sustain my daily needs. The amount you donate doesn’t matter - any support you can provide will help move us forward.
If I might add, the United States has a long history or ignoring atrocities. You’ve witnessed the slow response to this cruelty and humanitarian crisis as reports of neglect by the hand of our government have increased significantly, specifically within U.S. Border Patrol facilities in McAllen, Texas and Homestead, Florida. We need to be a strong force that is united to solve our problems because America does not have one issue. History will look back on this period in our country with great derision. The world needs us to step up.
I hope that I can count on your support today. Thank you!