Highland Park students help raise money for Dallas small businesses damaged by looters

A 17-year-old high school student is helping raise money to assist Dallas small businesses destroyed last weekend by vandals and looters.

Jason Tananbaum is founder of Highland Park High School's Young Entrepreneurs Club and thought a fundraiser with his club could help out. His fellow club officers agreed it was a call to action.

“Just being broken into and all of their belongings destroyed, their storefronts just defaced,” Tananbaum said. “We decided that giving direct financial aid to small businesses would be sometimes that our club could manageably do.”

The club launched a GoFundMe campaign and spread the word on social media.

They quickly blew past their initial $1,000 goal in less than a day. They then increased it to $2,000, then $4,000 and now it’s $6,000. They had about $4,800 as of Thursday.

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Tananbaum said the more money they raise, the more businesses they can help to pay rent, pay wages and pay for damages until insurance claims can be processed.     

They’ve already decided on the first businesses they've chosen to benefit.

“All three of those stores had ownership that was either black or people of color,” Tananbaum said.

While it’s a short distance from his front door to downtown damage, some see his neighborhood as being worlds away.

“I think that's a myopic viewpoint and that doesn't accurately represent all of the good people that are in this community,” Tananbaum said.

He views this as a community coming together to repair what's been torn apart.

“We are all community members in Dallas regardless of who we are, regardless of the color of our skin - especially in this time.”