An Atlanta teenager wanted to make a difference in his community, so he raised $160,000 to help Black-owned businesses that were damaged during recent protests.
According to Faithwire, 17-year-old CJ Pearson, President of Last Hope USA, which is dedicated to educating Americans about Civics, used his extensive online influence to raise the money. Pearson told WSB-TV in Atlanta that he wanted “To show that black lives matter by supporting these Black-owned businesses that were adversely impacted by these recent events, and not intentionally so, but let’s go help them out.”
This week Pearson delivered a check for $10,000 to Wilbourn Sisters Designs. She told WSB-TV that she was “excited” and “truly grateful” for the gift, which Pearson raised in conjunction with the Georgia Association of Minority Entrepreneurs.
In a tweet announcing the gifts, Pearson said that, “WE didn’t just SAY black lives matter. WE didn’t just post black screens. WE backed it up.”
Pearson was surprised at the outpouring of support for the project. He told Fox News, “When we first started this effort, I set a goal for $30,000. I expected, you know, to maybe raise that and, you know, be able to help a few businesses. But we blew through that goal in just three hours, raising more than $160,000 in three days.” Pearson also said, “it blew me away to see the response that we received, but also it filled me with so much hope to be able to help so many people who need this relief now more than ever.”
Pearson also explained the motivation behind his project to Fox News. He said, “I’ve got to tell you, burning down a Wendy’s or any establishment didn’t do anything for my Black life. SO what I wanted to do is show that conservatives can come together and we can actually help people of color.”
Ultimately, Pearson said he wanted to demonstrate real action that would help Black people who were struggling. He explained that, “We’re not just saying Black lives matter, we’re showing that they really do indeed matter. We are not just speaking into the atmosphere, but we’re backing their words with action and results.”
Photo courtesy: WSB-TV Channel 2 Screenshot