An online fundraising drive set up for alleged National Security Agency leaker Reality Winner has hauled in more than $36,000 – with comedian Rosie O’Donnell chipping in $1,000.
“I support the 25-year-old woman with an exemplary record of service and dedication,” O’Donnell posted in response to a Twitter user who asked if she also supports Wikileaks’ Julian Assange. (She does not).
The Go Fund Me account was launched Monday, the day details of her arrest were announced. Winner, 25, who had been living in Augusta, was arrested Saturday and is being held in the Lincoln County jail, about 40 miles northwest of Augusta, the AJC’s Jeremy Redmon reported.
UPDATE: She was indicted Thursday morning.
“These funds will be able to assist with loss of wages, counseling from this traumatic experience and to be able to recover from this as Reality & her family rebuilds their lives,” the account page, originated by Shirley Fink of Fairfax, Va., states. “Possible expenses for travel for the family and anything they might need to help them through these troubled times.”
Donors are hailing Winner as a patriot and hero.
“We really need to set up a YUGE Go Fund Me account to battle the trumps as they terrorize our first amendment,” Lori Themel wrote.
“This heroic young woman put her life on the line for US and this is how we repay her,” wrote Cherie Fazekas. “I don’t even have a job right now and I donated. Get it together people!”
Winner graduated from H.M. King High School in 2010. She was an avid athlete and was in ROTC during her time in school.
Juan Carlos Gonzalez was on the tennis team with Winner.
“She was a real aggressive tennis player,” he said. “I think she was viewed as like, don’t mess with her. Don’t make her mad.”
Winner was as smart as she was athletically gifted, he recalled, but sort of kept to herself.
“She was always this very serious person,” Gonzalez said. “She was kind of doing her own thing.”
Mando Cavazos graduated in 2007, a few years ahead of Winner.
“She always seemed like a happy girl,” he said. “Always smiling. That’s really all I know about her.”