The Westboro Baptist Church is planning on picketing Robin Williams’ funeral, so a nonprofit has stepped up to raise money to benefit sick children in an attempt to wrest publicity from the group.
Planting Peace, a nonprofit, has raised more than $55,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of William’s favorite charities.
The church had announced soon after Williams’ death that it was planning on picketing the actor’s funeral in protest of several of his roles in films.
Aaron Jackson, co-founder of Planting Peace, says that he wanted to honor Williams while combating the message Westboro Baptist was giving.
“We felt like launching a fundraiser for a charity Robin loved would be the perfect way to honor him and counteract the message of hate and intolerance that the Westboro Baptist Church continues to convey. Robin Williams played many different roles in so many people’s lives, and giving back to others was at the top of that list,” he said.
“His appeal crossed generational boundaries. I was personally impacted when I heard of his passing. This is a small gesture to honor his legacy and the difference he made to so many.”
The nonprofit’s page on Crowdrise, a crowdfunding platform, added:
“Our neighbors at the Westboro Baptist Church have announced their intention to protest the funeral of Robin Williams. In keeping with our philosophy of addressing acts of hate and intolerance with compassion and love, we are inviting the public to show their respect and support of a man who spent his life making others smile, who was always there for others in their time of need, and who supported the greater good through works of service and charity.
“Please join Planting Peace in counteracting the WBC’s message of hate through a fundraising event benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a cause Mr. Williams passionately and publicly supported.”