Jamie Sangouthai's friends are banding together in the wake of his sudden death at age 37 on Sunday, June 14. Shortly after he died of an apparent overdose, his former classmates from Christ the King High School in Queens, N.Y. — also the alma mater of his best friend Lamar Odom — started a GoFundMe page to raise money to bring him home from L.A.
"As most of you know, our good friend and CK classmate has passed away," pals Willie and Jonie Miranda wrote in a note to potential donors. "Jamie Sangouthai will be missed by so many. Unfortunately, there aren't enough funds to bring him home. I spoke to his childhood friend Leo [Penizzotto] and we are doing a fundraiser to help his mom give him a proper burial."
The note goes on to ask for both financial and spiritual help — "whether it be in the form of a monetary donation, or prayers being said for his mom and family. Anything you can do will be greatly appreciated."
According to the site, the group is donating all proceeds to Sangouthai's mother, Christine, for funeral arrangements and other expenses. "I'm sure we all stand behind the CK Family when one of us is in need," Willie wrote. "Let's unite and bring Jamie home…If we reach the goal, please keep donating because his mother can use all the help she can get."
As of Wednesday afternoon, the campaign had raised more than $11,000 of its $15,000 goal. Many of the donations were anonymous, but others were accompanied by heartfelt condolences to Sangouthai's family and friends.
Among those friends, of course, are Odom and his estranged wife, Khloe Kardashian. The former Lakers player had been close with Sangouthai since high school and was "devastated" to find out about his death, a source previously told Us Weekly.
"He feels like it could have happened to him," the insider said of Odom, who's battled his own issues with substance abuse. "He feels like it could have happened to him. This is a huge wake-up call for him. It has really shaken him."
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!