The following is from Rob Drinkenstein's blog, head bartender of La Capitale. Reprinted with his permission:
"Well, it’s that time of year again. Beautiful children waking to find Santa has somehow missed their house, tummies aching with hunger and even basic needs not being met. Mothers and Fathers having to face that they can’t stop the pain their children are feeling today. Days are hard when you have few resources. The Holidays are especially tough when you are in crisis. Hundreds of children in our community are in crisis right now.
You can help. I founded Tips for Tots 14 years ago to help ease the memory of my best friend being missed by Santa at the age of 5. The good news is, it didn’t work. I still remember Frank and it has challanged me on to help as many children as possible. The bad news is there are more children than we have resources for. We need your help. Tips for Tots is comprised of a group of people not motivated by tax credits or thank you cards. We are, generally speaking, people that just want to help others in need.
Tips for Tots provides toys, food, and clothing for those in desperate need during the Holidays. The way that we do this is really very simple. As food service workers most of us rely heavily on tips to make a living. WithTips for Tots we choose one shift to work for the children. The money that we receive in tips goes into a fund to purchase the much needed items for kids and their families. That’s it; no magic. We donate directly into the community using the Union Gospel Mission and The Mid Valley Women’s Crisis Service as our donation directors. Through them we are able to take requests for the most needed items. We try to have no direct contact with the families we help. We are not working for thanks, we are working so that a child will have the joy of a Merry Christmas.
Over the past 14 years we have raised better than $33,000 and helped some 8500 people have a better day (perhaps even a better life). The challenge grows harder each year. As times get tougher, more children are in crisis. Many families find themselves out of work and perhaps even out of home. That being said, I am happy to announce that for it’s 15th season Tips for Tots is alive and well and ready to help those in need. With our most gracious hosts for the second year being La Capitale and Bar Andaluz. Our goal is to raise $2000.00 this year. We would like to thank them in advance for their kind and very generous support.
The program will run Dec. 12, 13, 14, 15. I will personally donate all of my tips during this period and at least one other server per shift will donate as well. This is where you come in. Without you, we are nothing (true anytime of year). We ask that you think of us when making your choices in dining out. Please consider dining at either (or both) during this time period. Remember that this is voluntary; you do not have to tip us- but if you choose to, and we hope you will, we will be putting your tip to good use.
You can make reservations for La Capitale via its website www.LaCapitaleSalem.com or through www.opentable.com or phone 503 585 1975 La Capitale is located at 508 State St. Salem, Or. Bar Andaluz accepts walk in seating only, it is located at 130 High Street SE Salem, Or.
I will update this blog everyday during the event to keep you posted on our progress. We will also post photos of our shopping trip as it occurs. Thank you very much for taking the time to consider this. If you can help, please do. If you need help please contact UGM or MVWCS and we will do our very best to help. You can contact me with any questions atwww.robdrinkenstein.com or via twitter @robdrinkenstein. Please feel free to post this to facebook, circles, re-tweet, tape this to a water cooler, anything you can think of to help us get the word out. We need all the help we can get!"