Viral GoFundMe campaign raises funds to send Harlem kids to see “Black Panther”

Marvel Studios(NEW YORK) — New York native Frederick Joseph knew he wanted to give back to his community in some way and with the highly anticipated Black Panther hitting theaters next month, he decided to try and raise funds to send a few hundred kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem for free.

But what has happened over the last few days since his GoFundMe page launched is something straight out of the pages of Marvel Comics.

Joseph’s original goal of $10,000 has been well surpassed and now stands at around $25,000 and climbing. More than 500 people have donated. The campaign also boasts support from Chelsea Clinton, J.J. Abrams and ESPN’s Jamele Hill.

“I knew I wanted to do something, but wasn’t sure what,” Joseph told ABC News. “My mother mentioned, ‘You’re a marketer, why don’t you put those skills to good use?’ So, I decided to try and do crowd funding.”

Joseph’s original goal was to send 300 kids to the film, but that’s all changed when the campaign went viral. In fact, Harlem Boys & Girls Club executive director Dominique Jones told ABC News that her club services over 1,000 kids of all ages.

The hope is that everyone will be able to go to the film and what’s left over will be donated to the club, Joseph said.

Jones said it speaks volumes when children of color see a strong, positive role model just like them fighting for what’s right. In this film, Chadwick Boseman returns as T’Challa, a.k.a. Black Panther, the prince-turned-king-turned-superhero.

Jones and Joseph are currently in the early stages of planning the big outing for the club’s kids.

Joseph said that with the success of the local New York campaign, GoFundMe is working to expand this into other cities.

ABC News and Marvel are both part of parent company Disney.

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