When a leak to Politico on Monday, May 2, revealed the news that the Supreme Court is preparing to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case, Justin Hintze was at home sick. The owner of the buzzy fried chicken cart Jojo, Hintze — like millions of Americans who support the right to a safe and legal abortion — was horrified by the news. The next day, he took to Instagram, posting a message promising to match donations to the northwestern branch of the National Network of Abortion Funds. He asked for proof of donations to the organization via screenshot, and promised to match up to $1,000 total. “If any other businesses want to add to that matching budget, let me know and I will post to my stories,” he concluded.
As of Friday, May 6, individual donations and matched donations have exceeded $32,000. “I’ve tried to do things in the past when I get that feeling of helplessness,” Hintze says. “Electoral politics can feel really futile and frustrating. It’s like regaining a sense of control, but it’s about helping people more than anything else.”
Hintze says that shortly after his post went live on Monday, proof of donations began rushing in. But so did offers of matched donations from restaurants across town — Bark City Barbecue, Demarco’s Sandwiches, Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels, Epif, Magna Kusina, Jen’s Pastries, Grind Wit Tryz. Even restaurants that had spent the last years of the pandemic struggling to keep their doors open were offering between $100 and $1,000 in matched funds with donors.
Still sequestered at home throughout the week, Hintze was able to organize and tabulate the seesawing of matched pledges and donations. On Thursday, May 5, individual donations had surpassed matched pledges by around $1,000. And by Friday morning, more businesses had signed on and had outpaced individual donations. “We are back above $1k in matching funds available,” Hintze wrote on an Instagram story. “Still taking matching donations... why stop now.”
Hintze is no stranger to organizing and supporting communities: When the pandemic began in Portland and hundreds of thousands of workers were laid off, he raised funds to give free food from Jojo to anyone who would came by. “I did not expect anything like this, I expected like $2,000 at most,” he says of the NNAF fundraiser. “It’s been really amazing to see. We feel like we’re helping in some way.”
Going forward, Hintze will continue to “play it by ear” for how long the campaign will last. He says it will go through at least the end of the week, but possibly further.