Nearly every business in the Tri-State has been impacted by the coronavirus thanks primarily to stay-at-home orders in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. One of the biggest group of people that has directly affected is wait staff at area restaurants. When a majority of your income is based off tips, I can only imagine how incredibly tough it is to earn a living when you can't wait on anyone because they aren't allowed in your dining room. But, as we've seen so many times over the past few weeks since COVID-19 began upending out day-to-day lives, when we learn that some of our own are need of a helping hand, we're more than willing to jump in and offer to help in anyway we can.

Ellyna White, whose parents own The Wine Down in Newburgh, took it upon herself to create a "virtual tip jar." A central location where area servers can share the link to their personal PayPal or Venmo accounts, and residents with a few extra bucks to spare can give it to them.

I asked Ellyna her motivation behind creating the tip jar, and she replied,

Basically I set this up because I know a lot of the time it’s hard for us people in the service industry to work “regular” jobs, & with everything that’s going on in our community right now, really the only jobs that are hiring right now are temporary solutions or they are night shift stock jobs.. For some people, like single mothers, that doesn’t work at all. They don’t have anyone to watch their children while they work. That’s not always the case, but a lot of the time people who work in the service industry work a certain shift because that’s the only time they have help. I also created this because I love working in the service industry and sometimes we work over 40+ hours a week. So I wanted there to be a way for people who need & work for their tips to make ends meet, to take care of children, or to help take care of their families to still get those tips that they work so hard for. I didn’t create this expecting to get tipped, or even wanting to get tipped. I just wanted there to be some source that if people in our community who work in this industry wanted to put their information, they have a way of getting tipped.

Take a look at the list. Chances are a server from a restaurant you've been to on a number of occasions is listed on there. And while there's no way I could know for certain, I'd say there's certainly a possibility that person waited on you, or cooked your food during one of those occasions, so if you've been fortunate enough to keep your regular income during this crisis, consider dropping a few dollars in one, or a few, of the accounts. I'm sure they'll appreciate whatever you're willing to give.

If you're a server who is struggling due to what's going on, you can submit your information through this link, and Ellyna will add it to the list.

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