One of the biggest donors to the ongoing GoFundMe campaign for the building of a massive border wall to curb immigration is a seven-year-old boy from Austin, Texas.
Benton Stevens, the young Texan, quickly shot to fame among conservatives as a major fundraiser for the campaign’s associated nonprofit, We Build the Wall.
Read on to learn more about how Stevens raised over $22,000 for We Build the Wall’s GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign and the public’s response to his controversial efforts.
Benton Stevens’ Hot Chocolate Stand
Stevens has raised over $22,000 for We Build the Wall’s GoFundMe campaign and is continuing to do so as the construction of the wall moves forward. He accomplished nearly all of his fundraising with a hot chocolate stand in his Texas hometown, which each selling for $2.
He also sold “Beto O’Rourke” and “Nancy Pelosi” marshmallows along with the cocoa, each for 50 cents. Known as “Benton’s Stand,” the business received a great deal of publicity right away, and he earned his first $1,000 in mere hours of its grand opening.
How Has the Public Reacted?
Stevens, as a vocal supporter of Trump while just seven years old, has obviously become a polarizing figure. While many activists, including We Build the Wall’s founder, Brian Kolfage, have voiced praise for Stevens, lauding him as a hero, others have raised concerns about Stevens’ involvement.
In particular, some parents have wondered if Stevens is capable of understanding what exactly he’s raising money for, and have voiced concerns about the young boy being pushed by his parents to take part in fundraising.
His parents insist, however, that Stevens’ efforts have been led by him and him alone, but many critics still aren’t too sure.
Moreover, Stevens has also received a great deal of ire among activists, especially those on the left side of the aisle. His family claims that he has even received hate mail and death threats.
Still, critics argue that Stevens’ family is partly to blame and should not have involved such a young child in their political views to begin with, or exposed him to such a hotly debated controversy.