San Jose nonprofit, HERO Tent, offers water, food, supplies to BLM protesters across Bay Area

Dustin Dorsey Image
Saturday, July 18, 2020
SJ nonprofit offers water, food, supplies to protesters across Bay Area
HERO Tent aims to support protesters across the Bay Area with supplies, such as water and food, while they rally for important causes such as Black Lives Matter and more.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Protests continue across the country and the Bay Area with a goal to end systemic racism.

As you've seen on our air, these protests can be long with demonstrations lasting hours.

Now, a San Jose nonprofit named HERO Tent aims to help these people.

"A lot of the black and brown people in San Jose and in the Bay Area, they always felt like they didn't have someone to help them," HERO Tent President, Founder Kiana Simmons said. "They always felt neglected by the system. But, now more than ever, these people need our support."

RELATED: George Floyd death: 38 people arrested, several officers injured in violent San Jose protests

After attending the first protest following the death of George Floyd in San Jose on May 29, 22-year-old Simmons found a way to help.

She first set up a small tent to hand out water to these protesters who were demonstrating on the streets for hours.

From then on it grew.

"People dropped off more water and some snacks," Simmons said. "We even got hot food donations from Lee's Sandwiches and people donated pizza. At that point, I realized what how I was helping and what I was doing was working and that's how HERO Tent was born."

Now, the non-profit standing for human empowerment through radical optimism hands out food, water, masks and gloves and serves demonstrators across the Bay Area.

"We've fed and given water to thousands of people at this point," HERO Tent Board Secretary Jesilyn Faust said. "We have over 70 volunteers out here helping us. We're doing all this stuff just in seven weeks so I'm really excited to see what we do in the future."

The supplies are just symbols of the message that HERO tent wants to convey to the community and beyond.

These organizers want to support those who need help bringing change to the world.

RELATED: Black Lives Matter murals: See Downtown San Jose transformed by local artists

"We want to build systemic change," Faust said. "We're out here to create an alternative because the system has failed us. We're here to tell people, 'we are here for you. We got you'."

"What we have out here is special and I'd like to see it transform to different movements," Simmons said. "What we offer can translate to any movement and we want to help the people of that movement get what they need while still being able to protest."

If you would like to get involved visit the HERO Tent website.

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the investigation into George Floyd's death in Minneapolis and protests across the U.S.