Local group holds donation drive for flood victims

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY ) – Stadium Bar and Lounge and “Black Lives Matter 757” organized a two-day event for flood victims still in-need after Hurricane Matthew.

Portsmouth resident LaTonya Shelton was excited to see the car full of trash bags pull up in front of the lounge on Saturday. Just a week ago the storm flooded her Swanson Homes neighborhood.

“My neighborhood, the day it happened, all the furniture, living rooms, bedrooms, was in the street,” Shelton says.

Shelton was also volunteering to help out with the donation drive. She says it’s one of the only relief efforts she’s seen so far.

“You can go down to any club, any venue. No one’s talking about it because they’re good,” she says about the lack of help.

That’s why “Black Lives Matter 757” decided to step in and help with relief efforts.

“A lot of times, often we come together for other areas, we send out different aid to different cities and locations. This one time we were needed in our hometown. We came together to make sure we take care of home first,” says Japharii Jones, president of “Black Lives Matter 757”.

Jones says the group was founded in July and the fundraiser is part of one of their many community outreach efforts, including voter registration and helping felons restore their right to vote.

While the group is often known for it’s protests and marches locally and nationally, Jones says they’re doing their best to help the Hampton Roads community.

“We do want to focus and channel the energy in one direction. It’s very important for the community outreach problems. A lot of times with the divides is that no one is communicating the actual problem for solutions. They’re just trying to exploit the problem with no solution finding,” Jones says.

“Black Lives Matter 757” decided that their own solution to Hurricane Matthew’s destruction would be to give back directly. Shelton says she and her neighbors are grateful for the group’s and community’s actions.

“If you can, if you can find it in your heart, feel free to donate. It’s not just for feeling good about yourself, but you’ll make someone else feel better too,” Shelton says.

The group is accepting all donations at Stadium Bar and Lounge at 4592 George Washington Highway from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 16.

Another donation drive will be held October 22 – 23rd from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Origami Nightclub at 5957 E Virginia Beach Boulevard in Norfolk.