The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

A fundraising campaign for the father of an eight-year-old girl who died last week surpassed its goal of $3,000 to help support the grieving family.

Maria Passarelli, a third-year student in the School of Veterinary Medicine, started organizing the fundraiser for the girl’s   As of publishing time, 123 people have donated total of $4,020 through the  set up by Passarelli.

“I was there at the time of the incident, so I saw everything [that] happened after the girl fell,” Passarelli said. The girl was transported to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and was pronounced dead at around 8:28 a.m. Police are still investigating the incident, although they believe it was an accident. “The thing itself is horribly upsetting,” Passarelli said.

Later that day, Passarelli discovered that the girl’s father was a Penn graduate student after she talked to the staff at the Fairfax Apartment building, although she declined to specify his identity out of respect for him and his family.

“Since it seemed like he was part of the Penn community, I just wanted to help him,” she said.

That day, she talked to members of the Graduate and Professional Student Association, as well as other student groups, to brainstorm ideas for how to help the girl’s family.

“I just felt so awful at the time that I couldn’t do anything,” Passarelli said, “and I felt here’s my chance to help now.”

The next day, she posted to GoFundMe asking for donations for the student. “Out of respect for him and his grieving family, [the graduate student’s] name will remain anonymous, but on top of having another daughter to feed, paying student bills, and paying rent, he is now faced with funeral costs,” Passarelli wrote on the page. “Please consider donating to a fellow grad student. At the end of this fundraiser, he will receive a check– ALL funds raised here will go directly to him.”

In addition to the campaign, Passarelli is planning to place a box outside Hill Pavilion — the home of the Vet School, located at 38th and Woodland streets — through Sept. 25 so anyone who would like to donate offline will have an opportunity to so.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.