Roommates, sometimes we have to take losses in order to get to where we want to be in life. But for 8-year-old Tanitoluwa Adewumi and his family, the W’s just keep on coming!
Tani and his family lost everything after they fled their home country Nigeria in 2017 in fear of the persecution of Christians by terrorists, The NY Times reports. After Tani discovered his passion for chess, his family is $100,000 closer to gaining everything back!
Toni joined his school’s chess club under the leadership of Russel Makofsky, who started a GoFundMe campaign to help Tani’s family prepare for his chess related competitions. Earlier this month, Toni won the New York State Primary Chess tournament and went viral!
Shortly after moving into a homeless shelter in New York City, Tani learned about his love for chess at his elementary school, P.S. 116. Although his family could not afford to enroll him in the school’s chess club, Tani’s mother sent an email to the program explaining their circumstances.
Overseer of the program, Russel Makofsky, felt so moved by the letter, he decided to waive Tani’s fees, which could have piled up to thousands of dollars with travel and chess camp admissions.
Makofsky also took it upon himself to create a GoFundMe campaign to raise $50,000 to help support Toni and his family as he prepared for national championships in May. At this point, the fundraiser has exceeded the original goal, bringing in a total of $171,113.
“Tani is ALL HEART!” Makofsky wrote on the campaign page. “Let’s all show our HEART and help Tani’s family secure a home where he can continue on his journey.”
The Adewumi family is still residing in a homeless shelter, but is looking for potential homes to move into. Makosky has high hopes for Toni and his family.
“Tani is rich beyond measure, in the strength, love and support of his family.”