More than $3,000 removed from bar walls.
Jennifer Knox, like many small business and restaurant owners, has had to shut down her business due to the coronavirus pandemic. Her restaurant, the Sand Bar, is located in Tybee Island, Georgia, and sits locked up until further notice.
Knox, who can now no longer pay her staff, wanted to somehow help her employees in any way she could. Tybee Island is a small island with just about 1,000 people, its economy is dependent on the beach tourism the island gets. March is the very start of the season, so the island was just beginning to get some business when the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to shut down.
Money wall seen behind owner Jennifer Knox. Courtesy of Jennifer Knox (Facebook)
Knox has a long history with the Sand Bar and knows the life of working on tips, having been a bartender there for seven years before purchasing the place six years ago. She runs it with her mom. The restaurant has an unusual tradition, of sorts, where customers can write on a dollar bill and staple it to the wall—something that's been happening for the last 15 years.
Knox rounded up a few helpers and spent about two weeks carefully taking each bill down, removing the staples, then sorting and counting it. Not all the cash was in U.S bills, as visitors from abroad had left their mark. Plus, some of the bills were very old and fragile and had to be handled with great care.
“It’s just home to a lot of people. We have bar church here, a sign class here. A lot of awesome stuff that brings the community together. We literally had money on the walls and time on our hands. There was not a more perfect time to give back to my people.” Knox told local news WTOC.
“Each one is a message of love and now we can give that love in return,” added her mom, Pam Hessler.
After all was said and done, Knox and her team were able to collect $3,714 to give to the staff. Some donations were made, bringing the total to $4,104.
Knox handed out the money to her staff, four bartenders and two musicians each got $600. One of the Sand Bar staff members decided to pay it forward, giving her share to another bartender on the island who's also facing economic hardship. Others were just happy to know they could pay rent for another month thanks to the cash.
Knox is continuing to collect donations to try and help not only her unemployed staff but other service workers on the island who are out of work. Information on the donations can be found here:
Courtesy of Jennifer Knox (Facebook)
Until then, Knox will be working on a bit of renovation since the walls need new paint since the dollar bills no longer cover them. She hopes to welcome customers back soon for a cold brew and a good time with a brand-new look, but the same great atmosphere they know and love.
We love hearing about people who are doing everything they can to help others in this time of hardship. It's heartwarming to hear of bosses who are not giving up on supporting their employees while everyone waiting for the pandemic to play out.
Had you heard about Knox and her efforts to help her staff? Are there any other amazing stories like this one you have seen out there? Share with us in the comments.