Georgia Family Restaurant’s Giving Board Builds Community

Patrons can pay for part or all of a meal for customers who need a little help.

Oct 2, 2020

Clarkesville is a small city in rural Georgia with a population of around 1,750 people.  Like most communities in the south, it’s a place where people know their neighbors and are willing to lend a helping hand.

Stoney's Family Restaurant, a popular breakfast spot that has been a staple for 55 years. While the eatery has been known for their homemade biscuits, now according to MSN it is getting a lot of attention for acts of kindness. That’s because the restaurant put up a Giving Board that lets people pay for part or all of meals for customers who just need a little help.

Cashier Ruby Evans came up with the idea when she realized that there were people in the community who were struggling.  She explained to MSN, "That we [the city] stick together, we're a strong community. We are looking out for each other."

Evans hung up the board at the end of February 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic, and she said that most people donate the lunch special, a coke, a biscuit and others just give $5.

The staff of Stoney’s said they want to keep it very simple and uncomplicated. If people have extra to give, they can just put a tack up on the board and if someone needs something, they can take one down and use it.

They’ve had lots of donations but getting people to use the donations is harder. "A lot of people are really hesitant, and I'm like, 'that's what it's there for! No judgment, just take it'," Evans said. She even went outside to invite people to come in and use the board and to pass the news around.

As people spread the word around Clarkesville, other business owners wanted to help too. "Everyone gets down on their luck, and just having that little support to pick you up can change your entire world," said Alexia Dodson who owns a second-hand store next door to the restaurant.

"We're getting ready to start bringing in vouchers for jackets and stuff like that, so families can come in and get a blanket or a coat and come to our store and pick it up," she added. 

You don’t even have to leave your home to donate to the giving board. The restaurant will take donations over the phone or you can mail a check according to WNYT 13. Kindness is something that everyone wants to share.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.