Lee Family Support

$153,014 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 3,614 people in 2 months
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Created April 11, 2019
This campaign is organized by UNC's Entrepreneurship Center on behalf of Diana Lee.

On April 10th, a few minutes past 10 am, there was a massive explosion in downtown Durham. Kaffeinate, a beloved local coffee shop, crumbled to pieces. The owner, Kong Lee, was inside the building when it collapsed.  Minutes prior, he had called his children, Diana and Raymond, to let them know he was closing up the shop. 

Kong and his children started the coffee shop in October 2017  in order "to embrace the community by showcasing the best of what NC has to offer." Their website states,  that their family has been a part of the Triangle for over 20 years, attending school and owning businesses in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and surrounding towns. From the warm, welcoming community to the incomparable summer nights, North Carolina quickly became the embodiment of the word "home" for them.

Everyone who went into Kaffeinate were touched by this family's mission and passion for the community and quickly felt at "home."

I personally know Diana Lee's beautiful heart and desire for building community from working alongside her for years to build a vocational school for homeless mothers and their children in Ghana. 

Now, Diana and Raymond need the community to support them. Kong Lee was caring for and fully supporting his elderly mother who lived in his Raleigh residence. Diana and Raymond need support to take care of their grandmother and pay for the father's funeral.

Any amount you give means a ton to the Lee family and will be used to help them make it through the next few months.  This money will be used for living expenses like paying the mortgage of Kong's house, caring for Kong's mom, funeral expenses, and will give them time to figure out another source of income for their family until they can rebuild their coffee shop.

Please note:
We have created a website  to centralize the GoFundMe links and publicize upcoming fundraising events. We are aware that there is another GoFundMe link  that is organized through UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. The organizers of both GoFundMe pages both are in the UNC community and in close communication with each other.  Please check the website for updates on a fundraising and remembrance event to further support the family as they rebuild and heal. 

Also note: This page is supporting the Lee family. If you would like to support the workers of Kaffeinate or other workers who are out of work because of this explosion, please donate to the Durham Workers fund Fund at this  GoFundMe link or to Bull City Rebuilds here. 



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Hello generous supporters!

A few updates for you:

1) A week-long virtual silent auction is underway to support Diana and Raymond Lee. Over 30 local businesses and community members have contributed items to this virtual silent auction to continue supporting the Lee Family. Win items like an overnight stay at the Carolina Inn, a six month coworking membership at HQ Raleigh or Launch Chapel Hill, conversations with Innovate Capital Law and the Carolina Angel Network, and gift certificates to places like Top of the Hill, MOFU Shoppe, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Hungry Harvest, Purple Bowl, Cousins Maine Lobster, Ninth Street Bakery, and many more. Auction ends Monday, May 6th at 8pm, and all the details can be found at www.leefamilysupport.com/silent-auction.html

2) Stay informed on other events and updates at www.leefamilysupport.com

3) A message from Diana and Raymond: “The staff at Kaffeinate used to joke that all our dad wanted was to be everyone’s dad. The best part of all this has been getting to see all the people who felt our dad’s love and have now come to love us in his honor. We would like to invite you to celebrate our dad’s life, love and impact with us. The visitation will be Tuesday, May 7th from 4-7 pm. The funeral will be Wednesday, May 8th at 11 am. Both events will be at New Horizon Church in Durham (100 Horizon Place Durham, NC 27705).

Our deepest gratitude to New Horizon Church and Hall-Wynne Funeral Service and Cremation for helping us through this time. Our deepest gratitude also to all of you for everything. We hope you will join us so our dad can smile down and see how large his family has grown.”


With love and gratitude,
Callie and friends of Diana
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A message from Diana and Raymond Lee-

It's hard to believe it's already been over 2 weeks since the explosion. During that time, we've had so much support from the community, and we don't know how to thank you enough. We are absolutely blown away by all the love and assistance we've received, and it makes us happy that our dad's love was felt by so many. April 10th was a long and devastating day for our family, but it was also filled with people from all over the city, state, and even country coming together. Thank you for donating to the gofundmes and giving us time to figure out our next steps. We can't tell you how much stress that has taken off our shoulders and given us some room to breathe and grieve. Thank you for offering our staff work and caring for them. With a small shop like ours, they are our family also. Thank you for advocating for us, organizing on behalf of us, bringing us food, asking about our grandmother, checking in on us and dad's dog, letting us cry, sitting with us, and keeping our dad alive in your hearts and your memories. Thank you to everyone who has gone out of their way for us. We hope Jay Rambeaut's family feels your love just as fiercely as we do.

Everything our dad did was for his family. I can only imagine that he's smiling knowing how many people came together to help take care of his family when he no longer could. While our grieving is far from over, we know many of you stand with us, and that makes a huge difference. Our memorial and funeral plans are in the works, and we will update you when we have a date and time so hopefully you can join us. Again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you, and we can only hope to repay your kindness in the future.

All our love,
Diana and Raymond
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$153,014 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 3,614 people in 2 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created April 11, 2019
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