Manitoba

Fundraiser to help Rinelle Harper's family exceeds $13K goal

A fundraising campaign to help Rinelle Harper's family secure a new place to live, after their home burned down earlier this month, has exceeded its $13,000 goal days after it was launched.

GoFundMe campaign's goal now raised to $15K

Rinelle Harper is seen at an Assembly of First Nations gathering in Winnipeg in December 2014. A GoFundMe campaign to help the family find a new home exceeded its $13,000 goal on Friday. (CBC)

A fundraising campaign to help Rinelle Harper's family secure a new place to live, after their home burned down earlier this month, has exceeded its $13,000 goal days after it was launched.

The GoFundMe campaign was created on Monday in the hopes of raising $13,000 to cover rent for the teen's family for a year. It received $13,246 in donations as of noon Friday.

"Astonishing! Thanks to widespread support for this campaign and for Rinelle Harper and her family, we have met and exceeded our goal!" organizer Jessica Woolford wrote in an update.

"You have all touched my heart…. Any grinchiness that lived inside me has been driven out!"

Woolford has now raised the goal from $13,000 to $15,000 to ensure everyone who wants to donate can do so.

Meeting the new goal would enable the Harper family to find better accommodations and/or cover essentials such as utilities and food, she said.

Harper and her family have been living in Winnipeg since the teen, who was 16 years old at the time, was attacked and left for dead in the city's downtown in November 2014.

Their home on Garden Hill First Nation, a remote fly-in community 500 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, burned down on July 13. Neighbours said the house was locked and vacant at the time.

Rinelle's mother, Julie Harper, told CBC News the family was ready to go back to Garden Hill just before the fire broke out.

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