Emergency relief fund launches


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Buy Black Chambana is launching an emergency relief fund for black-owned businesses in Champaign-Urbana.

The objective of the fund is to, “put your money where your heart is,” editor Mariah Madison explains.

Every Friday, the total funds raised for the fund that week will be allocated to one business, which will be chosen at random from the pool of businesses.

“The relief fund is for businesses, black-owned businesses in Champaign-Urbana, that have been affected not only by COVID-19, but systemic racism,” Madison says.

Her goal is to give the businesses more resources and visibility.

Other businesses in the area are answering the call to action.

Ye Olde Donuts on Neil Street is matching and donating sales from its Black Lives Matter chocolate squares this week.

And Hopscotch Bakery is participating in “Bakers Against Racism,” a national virtual bake sale.

“I feel like it’s important to participate in something like this,” Kelly Whiting of Hopscotch says. “We have the platform to use our voice.”

Whiting says the bakery will donate proceeds from the sales of bread pudding, cookie sandwiches and cupcake boxes to Black Lives Matter and Buy Black Chambana. Hopscotch is already taking pre-orders, with pickup scheduled for June 20th.

Madison says she was thrilled to hear about the bakery’s fundraiser.

“I’m loving the support we’re getting from the community,” she says. “It just really feels well to be supported and know that we matter.”

Madison knows firsthand the challenges grassroots initiatives face.

“Most of the time, organizers are funding it out of pocket,” she explains. “So that means marginalized people are using their dollars to trying and correct what’s going on in their community.”

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