A GoFundMe for a man whose dream small business was destroyed has now reached a whopping $1m dollars and counting, thanks to generous donations from tens of thousands of strangers across the country.
Restaurant owner Kb Balla shared some pictures and an update yesterday, expressing his deep gratitude for the outpouring of support from so many people and showing how he’s helping the community rebuild. Here’s what he wrote:
This has been such an eye-opening experience. The world has poured into me and my family to support our business. At the same time being a resident of Minnesota and member of the community we have to do our part. It has been remarkable that even through our grief we have found ways to comfort and support each other. Swipe to see what we were up to yesterday. #PrayForMinneapolis #scoresbarmn #scoresportsbarmn #givingback #inthistogether
He also shared some pictures of community members giving back.
Protests have turned to riots in Minneapolis and several businesses are being destroyed as a result. One of those is Scores Sports Bar, owned by a local firefighter who spent his life savings to build his dream business.
The business is owned by Korboi Balla, who is black, and a local TV report showed him in tears as he watched his dream getting destroyed before his very eyes. Looters even came to try and steal his safe while cameras were rolling. WATCH:
— kreeche (@Kreeches) May 29, 2020
“I don’t know what we’re going to do. We’ve worked so hard to get here. So hard.”
A GoFundMe has been created and at the time of this publication, raised over $80,000. From the page:
“Scores Sports Bar was LOOTED, VANDALIZED and DESTROYED 5/27/2020. This black-owned business is left trying to pick up the pieces amidst mourning with the community. About the Bar Owners: Kb Balla & his wife Twyana are active members of their community. KB is a Firefighter on the Brooklyn Center Fire Department and Twyana was a member of the Sounds of Blackness. They have a 4 beautiful children and the toll of this entire situation is heavy. KB has been a community entrepreneur for decades and coaches and contributes to the community in which they live.
They added that “anything you can donate to start the rebuild process will be a blessing” and ended the post with the hashtag #prayforminneapolis.
Twyana Balla, Korboi’s wife, posted on Facebook her appalled reaction to seeing people trying to steal the safe in broad daylight, right there in front of them. “As we were standing there in front of the restaurant, people were in the back trying to steal the safe! This just happened an hour ago in broad daylight! It’s so easy to say what people should and shouldn’t do until it affects you! Yes people are mad and upset, I get that and I understand the protest, I’m hearing people say F$#! the business they have insurance… WELL WE DON’T AND THIS IS ALL OUT OF POCKET!!” she explained, before concluding, “Justice for George Floyd but not this kind of justice.”
She also posted a video outside the building after it had been burned down, claiming the National Guard was there and not letting them go close because it’s not safe. “The building is burning down,” she says. “There must’ve been an explosion because the whole front of the building is gone.”
On the positive side, the family has been encouraged by the help of strangers during the midst of this chaos.
Here’s what Korboi updated recently:
I would just like to start by saying the amount of gratitude in my heart right now is outweighing the sorrow and heavy-heartedness I feel. Yesterday, I was able to share my story and the outpour of financial, physical and emotional support has been overwhelming. As I think about my losses, I also want to extend my condolences to the Floyd family… My business can be rebuilt but his life cannot be regained.
I have been an entrepreneur in the State of Minnesota for many years, and my community really showed their love in the rawest form. Many of you know that Scores Sports Bar was my DREAM. It was all coming together and when COVID-19 hit, the reality of not being able to open for a grand opening was difficult. With the help of my family and friends, I pushed through. To find out that the countless hours, hard work, late nights away from my kids, and family had all been for nothing was soul shattering. It is not the material things, more so the time that cannot be reclaimed.
I went to Scores yesterday and all I could do was cry. As a firefighter and public servant, I am used to saving lives and being strong, but this broke me. The glass was broken, it was looted, and vandalized. While filming for CNN, people came in trying to steal the safe and I wondered what next? My community, that’s what. Strangers showed up with brooms, cleaning supplies, trash bags, and food. They helped me and my family clean up in 20minutes what would have took days. THIS IS WHAT GIVES ME HOPE! I want to thank and shed light on the real true Minnesotans who helped many of us small business owners clean up yesterday.
I was doing my shift at the fire station this morning when I got the call that the entire building had been burnt down last night. My heart was heavy, and I had to leave work because the emotional toll was too substantial. Right now is a tough time for my family and I, but also the community and the whole state. I know it will take some time, but we will rebuild and come back even stronger than ever. To the countless people who donated on the Go Fund Me page, sent emails of encouragement, and those praying for us and supporting us around the world, THANK YOU! We are all in this together. Stay safe, stay blessed, and keep praying for Minnesota.
If you would like to donate, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/scores-bar-mpls-riot-rebuild
Scores Sports Bar Owner
You can contribute to the GoFundMe by clicking HERE.
Faithwire has reached out to Scores Sports Bar for comment and will update the story if they respond.