Russell Simmons donates $10K to New York anti-violence program

Russell Simmons has amassed close to three million follows on Twitter and the strong presence he holds on the social media site had a powerful impact Wednesday night.

Simmons sent Tweets to help raise money for a New-York-based anti-violence program that has launched a campaign on the fundraising site Crowdtilt.

The program, called Life Camp, is a non-profit violence prevention program that is hoping to raise $100,000 to help end gun violence and provide positive alternatives to kids and young adults.

“During the prior eighteen months, before our full program was implemented, 17 people had been shot in our community,” wrote Erica Ford, the executive director of Life Camp. “Once our program was fully operational, we had 340 days of NO SHOOTINGS in our target area in South Jamaica, Queens.”

According to the Crowdtilt page, a government grant was delayed, which ultimately led to the closing of the community center.

Since most of the program’s resources have been exhausted, the program’s founders turned to the crowd funding site to raise money.

Simmons announced on Twitter that he has donated $10,000 to the campaign and asked followers to give money to the cause by promising retweets to those who said they pledged.

“Who can give $5, $10, $20 to save program that has saved lives of so many young people?? NO MORE BULLETS IN THE HOOD!,” he wrote. This followed his earlier tweet which said, “first ten people to donate $10 or more to keep one of the most critical anti-violence programs open, gets a RT.”

He kept his word – soon, followers responded to the call and Simmons thanked them for their kindness.

By the end of the night, Simmons reported that more than $775 was raised.

There are still 27 days left in the fundraising campaign and the program has not yet reached half of their target goal. The money will be used towards initiatives like keeping the community center open and to restart the program’s “I Love My Life” campaign tours in local churches and schools.

To learn more about “Give Life to LIFE Camp! No More Bullets In The Hood” campaign, click here.

Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works