LAST WEEK THE news was all about the spread of the coronavirus and the plunging of the stock market.
Next week and in the weeks ahead, those crises will have to share the headlines with the inevitable and daunting economic challenges facing millions of regular Americans. Folks who’ve been making daily and weekly wages…and tips…at our restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.
With the mandatory shutdown of their places of work, they’re suddenly without an income. Next week, some of them won’t have any money coming in, and the prospects for getting another job look dim.
Enter Anne White. She’s the woman who, with her partner, Scott Anderson, is converting the old theater downtown into a distillery, The Honorable.
“Marquette is a social, community-oriented town,” she says, “and our waiters, waitresses, bartenders and baristas have been taking care of us. Now we should take care of them.”
She’s started a GoFundMe site, with the help of her aide, Sawyer Fuller. It’s called COVID Aid for Marquette’s Restaurant Workers.
The goal, at least initially, is to raise $10,000.
Here’s how it’ll work. If you’ve suddenly lost your job as a server, you sign up online–your name, phone number, and place of work. You qualify if you’ve been working in the greater Marquette area.
On Friday, and on every Friday until the crisis is over, the money that’s been collected from donors to the site will be split up evenly among all those who’ve signed up.
For example, if $1000 is raised at the end of the week and twenty people have signed up, each of them would receive $50 via Venmo which is a mobile payment service. If $1000 is raised and fifty people are signed up, $20 is disbursed to them.
Not a ton of money, but a heckuva lot better than nothing.
And if those who still have jobs or are retired can afford to donate more, that puts more in the pockets of those who truly need it.
Yeah, we’re all suffering–try not to cry when you check your 401K–but some, like the jobless, are suffering more.
“They need help,” says Anne White, who was raised in Marquette. “I know, because years ago, I was a waitress. I lived on my tips. If I didn’t have them, I don’t know what I would have done.”
Now she and others are trying to step up and help when they’re needed.