Two UGA students raise more than $11,000 for family - CBS46 News

Two UGA students raise more than $11,000 for family struck by tragedy

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ATHENS, GA (CBS46) -

Severe weather sweeping through Georgia brought down a tree on top of Pedro Gorosquieta Orosco's mini-van on Wednesday. The tree crushed the vehicle and killed the father of five.

A few hours later and nearly 200 miles away, Becca Brown received a phone call from the guidance counselor at the school fourth grader Floribel Gorosquieta attends.

Brown is Floribel's mentor, and has been for two years now. The University of Georgia Athens sophomore started meeting with Floribel in the fall of 2012. Since then they spend an hour together once a week at Floribel's school during the school year.

Brown was shocked by the news and felt that she needed to do something to help Floribel and her family. "For a normal family, it would be a tragedy. But for this family it's more than that. They feel like their world is falling apart," said Brown.

The Gorosquietas were barely getting by before Pedro Gorosquieta died. He was the sole bread-winner for the family, his wife unable to work or drive.

Having visited Floribel's home a few times, her biggest concern was to make sure the family had what it needed. "I remember saying to my mom, ‘I would really love just to raise a few hundred dollars to help them with the groceries,'" said Brown.

She ended up turning to a familiar solution, a crowd-funding web site called GoFundMe.com, which she used to raise money for a mission trip once before.

After setting up the web page she called her best friend since fifth grade, and a fellow UGA student, Harley Paul, to share what she did. "She was like hey, 'I've set up a go fund me page. Let's do this together. I'm sure all of our friends and family would be loving to help out.' So that's when I set up the page and it immediately got lots of feedback," said Paul.

Donations on the two pages ranged from $5 to $500. Some donors left names or comments, others just gave the money anonymously.

Brown's page quickly spread around social media eventually being shared on Facebook by more than 950 people.

Her initial goal of $1,000 was shattered soon after the page went live. She revised the goal to $2,000. Then revised it again to $5,000; and finally it went through one more revision to $10,000 before she closed the page on Monday night.

In five days, Brown and Paul raised more than $11,000 for the Gorosquieta family.

They would have loved to keep accepting donation, but in order to get the money to the family, they needed to close the donation window in order to collect the money and bring it to them before heading back to Albany, GA, for the summer.

Even though the two are amazed at the incredible generosity they have witnessed, Brown and Paul have grown close to the children they mentor.

They are sad and a little concerned about what will happen to the Gorosquieta family.

Will they stay in the Athens area, or move closer to the mother's family out of state? Could the day Brown and Paul drop off the money be the last time they see the children they mentor?

Such a thing is possible, but they certainly hope it will not turn out that way.

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