Val Cheesecakes owner Valery Jean-Bart was sitting on his couch alone, watching George Floyd cry out for his mother as he lay dying on a Minneapolis sidewalk.

“I’ve seen the video so many times, and that cry just got to me,” Jean-Bart told Eater. “There’s a mixture of terror and horror and hope. I lost it. Then I said, ‘I’ve got to do something.'”

On Wednesday, Jean-Bart started collecting water, face masks and hand sanitizer to give to demonstrators at protests against police violence. He collected the supplies at his Greenville Avenue and Maple Avenue locations, and then delivered them in a truck normally used for cheesecakes, Eater reported. He closed his eateries Saturday so his employees could attend the demonstrations and pass out supplies.

He received so many donations of bottled water, Jean-Bart asked his followers to give financially via CashApp. The money will be donated to five local charities. As of Sunday, he had collected more than $3,000. The goal is $10,000.

Masks and hand sanitizer are still being accepted.

Donations will be accepted through June 30th, the restaurant’s five-year anniversary. On that day, Jean-Bart will set up tables at his locations to help people register to vote.

“I need the marchers to be healthy, to keep marching all the way to November,” Jean-Bart told Eater. “These marches are nice, but November 3 needs to be 10 times that.”


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