A student launched, then halted a GoFundMe campaign to help McReynold’s Liquors pay for damages after the store was looted during a demonstration late last month.
Senior Kaycee Beardeaux launched the campaign Sunday, raising more than $1,800 for the liquor store just off campus. But Beardeaux said she decided to cancel the fundraiser two days later to “respect the ongoing protests” that follow recent episodes of police violence against black Americans, according to the fundraiser page.
Many students responded to the fundraiser on the Facebook page Overheard at GW, saying people should be donating to causes directly supporting protesters rather than businesses affected by the protests. Beardeaux said she did not want to divert donations from other bail funds and fundraisers for black individuals circulating on social media.
Beardeaux added that the fundraiser was intended to support small businesses in cities like D.C. that are in need of criminal justice reform.
“I think you can’t really blame the people that are rioting, you have to blame the circumstances and police brutality,” she said. “I think even though [the protests] are really violent right now, it’s the only way to create real change in this country right now.”
Beardeaux said she mailed all the money to the store before she left to return home to Hawaii. McReynold’s Liquors did not return requests for comment.
Senior Amber Mirza said in addition to donating to bail funds, she donated to the fundraiser because she wanted to alleviate some financial hardship on small businesses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mirza added that she wanted to donate to multiple causes to support people and organizations affected by protests.
“I just think it’s more useful to spend money on multiple fundraisers and multiple charities because you never know which charity is actually going to make the difference,” Mirza said. “If you support a bunch of them, you can support a bunch of different causes.”