The family of 8-year-old chess champion Tanitoluwa “Tani” Adewumi will be able to move out of a homeless shelter and into an apartment thanks to a massive crowdfunding effort over the last few days.

Tani’s story of chess success went viral over the weekend after a New York Times story. The PS 116 third-grader and his family are refugees who fled Nigeria in 2017, fearing terror attacks by the group Boko Haram.

They moved to New York to seek asylum in the US and have been living in a Manhattan homeless shelter.


Tani’s chess teacher, Russ Makofsky, said on NBC's Today show Tuesday that the family will now be able to move into an apartment. A GoFundMe for the family started by Makofsky raised over $178,000 in just three days.

“The love is deep, the love is real,” Makofsky said of the donors’ generosity.

Though Tani learned chess only one year ago, he improved rapidly and won his age category in a statewide championship earlier this month, beating out over 70 competitors.

The Adewumis have applied for religious asylum, and are reportedly set for an immigration hearing in August