More than 7,000 people have contributed over $400,000 to a GoFundMe campaign for the late Sgt. La David Johnson’s children in the day following outcry to President Donald Trump’s remarks to his wife, allegedly saying “he knew what he signed up for.”
The president denied those remarks, and said U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson, who relayed the story, fabricated it.
According to the Miami Herald, Wilson’s group 5,000 Role Models of Excellence program, which Johnson was a part of at one point in his life, established the Role Model Army Sgt. La David Johnson Scholarship to ensure Johnson’s three children will have money for college.
In light of Trump’s comments, activist Michael Skolnik posted the GoFundMe asking his 218,000 Twitter followers to raise $5,000 for the fallen soldier’s family.
His tweet caught the attention of celebrities like Common, Jake Taper and Russell Simmons, who shared the page themselves.
Some of the biggest donations to the campaign come from celebrities as well, such as The Big Bang Theory producer Bill Prady ($5,000) and MasTec co-founder Jorge Mas, ($3,000) according to the GoFundMe donation page. However, the vast majority of donations are just $100 and under, with many just at $5 and $10. Skolnik said people currently unemployed and living paycheck-by-paycheck told him they donated to the campaign, despite their own financial hardship.
“This family needs love and compassion,” Skolnik said in an interview with MONEY. “The American people will take care of this family.”
Sgt. Johnson was one of four servicemen killed in Niger earlier this month, following an ambush attack by militants thought to be affiliated with the Islamic State. He left behind a 6-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son. His wife, Myeshia Johnson, is pregnant with the couple’s third child.