On December 16, 2105, employees of Huey’s Restaurants donated over $3,000 worth of Christmas gifts to Dorothy Day House families in Memphis.
Five total families received gifts from Huey’s employees. For 5 weeks, employees from each location rallied together to collect Christmas gifts for their assigned family. The eight locations, plus the home office, donated to families through the Dorothy Day House of Hospitality. Several locations split larger families, to make sure that every family member got all of the items on their list.
All donations to were based on wish lists provided directly from the families. Items included clothing, toys, and necessities. Says Sister Maureen Griner, Executive Director of Dorothy Day House, “We are grateful that every restaurant and the home office played a part in making Christmas special for the homeless families we serve. In a special way, these employees have created hope for our DDHH parents and their children. Through their love and care, they have shared Christ’s love during this season.”
The head server at each Huey’s location was in charge of overseeing fundraising for each of their locations. Huey’s Poplar, located at 6872 Poplar Avenue, was able to rally employees to donate the
largest amount of gifts out of all locations. Anna Cade, Head Server at Huey’s Poplar, boasts on her co-workers, “Most of our staff did not even need motivation to give. They really enjoy giving back to the community. For those who were more hesitant to give to our family in need, it just took a few words of encouragement and the phrase ‘tis the season to give’ and they jumped right on board!”
Huey’s Southaven, located at 7090 Malco Blvd., donated the second largest sum of gifts for families. They have had a plan in place for months in order to be able to donate the most amount of gifts possible for their family. “Our server Erin Mangrum came up with the idea to put a bucket out for our staff at the beginning of October. She felt that if people had the chance to put a dollar in every shift, it wouldn’t be so hard around Christmas time when everyone was trying to buy for their own family,” explains Melanie Hughes, Head Server at Huey’s Southaven.
Huey’s Restaurants have worked with Dorothy Day House for three years now to provide gifts for homeless families. The local restaurant chain has been donating Christmas gifts to families in need for over 15 years total. Every few years, they work with a different organization, to help out as many worthy non-profit organizations in Memphis as possible. Previous organizations include Neighborhood Christian The Dorothy Day House of Hospitality provides temporary housing and support services for homeless families in Memphis, TN. Working with other local agencies, staff members and volunteers provide families in need with a safe environment and the means to re-establish their independence.
The Dorothy Day House keeps homeless families together, creating a safe haven and a community for entire families. People in conditions of common hardship bond together to mutually support and encourage one another as they face and overcome their shared obstacles of poverty and homelessness. This home-like atmosphere fosters self-esteem and creates one of the most vital ingredients for escaping poverty—hope.