September 26, 2017

Jimmy Fallon donated $20,000 to Penn students' Hurricane Maria fundraiser

Fundraising Penn
Jimmy Fallon Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File

FILE - In this May 12, 2014 file photo, "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon attends the NBC Network 2014 Upfront presentation at the Javits Center in New York.

Jimmy Fallon donated $20,000 to a Hurricane Maria fundraiser spearheaded by students at the University of Pennsylvania.

In the wake of the hurricane and the devastation it caused in Puerto Rico, students in the University of Pennsylvania's Mex@Penn organization started an online fundraiser to help the battered island.

With the initial goal to raise $50,000 on GoFundMe, the students expected the fundraiser to circulate mostly within the Penn community. A few incremental retweets from notable Mexican public figures, such as Belinda Peregrin and Gabriel Quadri de la Torre, however, helped the campaign go viral, the Daily Pennsylvanian reported.

Now with dozens of students in colleges across the country helping to run the fundraiser and reach its expanded $150,000 goal, the group received a donation Monday from a familiar name.

“Wanted to get you to your goal! I’m inspired by what you guys are doing,” Fallon reportedly wrote on the GoFundMe page after donating $20,000, upping the total amount fundraised to nearly $70,000 at that time.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the campaign had surpassed $90,000 contributed from more than 1,600 donations.

“It was a dream really,” Penn junior Andrea Barreras told the Pennsylvanian. Barreras was one of three initial organizers of the campaign from Penn.

“It energized everyone even more for our cause.”