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Al Franken helps raise $50k for Leech Lake reservation school

The former senator asked his Twitter followers for help, and they delivered.

More than a year after he stepped down as a senator, Al Franken is finishing something he started while he was still in office.

The Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation has long been notorious for its poor, unsafe conditions, but thanks to a recent renovation — which Franken helped secure funding for when he was senator — it's practically a new school now.

However, its library is still largely empty, despite having capacity for 20,000 books.

So, this past week, Franken put out a call on Twitter for cash and book donations to Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig. And Twitter delivered:

According to the above tweet, $50,000 were raised and a thousand dollars' worth of books were purchased in the space of just 24 hours.

The Democrat tweeted that on Friday; since then, the donations have only climbed. As of this writing, the school's GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $65,000.

If you want to help, follow the above link to donate. Otherwise, you can buy books for Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig through this Amazon wishlist. 

The drive comes about eight months after Franken visited the school to tour its new facilities with other Minnesota politicians. He had been out of office for some time at that point, and the visit was a rather emotional one. 

In an interview with WCCO's Esme Murphy, he said it was a "bittersweet" moment for him, as he missed and loved his job as senator and "would like to still be there."

He resigned early last year amid allegations of inappropriate conduct with a number of women; since then, a possible comeback has been speculated, and the former comedian has a number of defenders who feel he was treated too harshly by his fellow Democrats in Congress.

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