VB businesses donate gift cards, hotel rooms for victims’ families

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Outpouring support has been shown in Hampton Roads since last Friday’s mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.

Businesses along the Oceanfront are teaming up and joining in to help families affected.

Cards For A Cause is being led by the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association, Resort Advisory Commission, Virginia Beach Hotel Association, Atlantic Avenue Association, The Vibe District, The Museum of Contemporary Art, and the 17th Street Association.

BJ Baumann, the chairwoman for the Resort Advisory Commission and owner of Rockafeller’s Restaurant, says they’re donating gift cards to give back to those families.

“That’s what VB strong is. It’s all the community, all the community leaders pulling together,” she said.

Baumann says the idea came about this weekend after discussing it with other business owners.

“It started out as restaurants were going to donate gift cards and hotels donate rooms for those coming out of town for funerals, but it’s mushroomed into something bigger,” she said.

Gift cards are from restaurants, museums, recreational centers and more. 

She’s received more than $14,000 worth of cards and that doesn’t include monetary donations made through the United Way or hotel room prices.
She believes the donations will go a long way and help those families in the difficult months ahead.

Baumann knows firsthand how grief can affect loved ones. Her husband died 20 years ago.

“When you’re trying to take care of your children, take care of bills, and go on with daily life, it’s the small things like this that provide relief.”

It’s relief made possible by those small gestures that show how big of a heart this community has.

The gift card collection will happen over the next couple of weeks.

She says that residents can also drop off gift cards for stores and anything else people would want during times of grief.

The drop off location is at Rockafeller’s at 308 Mediterranean Avenue.
Baumann says you can also make monetary donations through the United Way. 

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