Two Highland Park natives are working to raise money for hourly workers at local restaurants and small businesses during their closure because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. Greg Abbott followed Dallas County and the city of Dallas March 19 in issuing an order limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people, and limiting restaurants and bars to drive-through, pickup, or delivery service statewide.
Annie Dodd, a senior at the University of Virginia, and her sister, Grace, a freshman at A&M, started Dallas Helps and created a GoFundMe page to raise money that they say they distribute to restaurant workers and small businesses.
“Basically, within one day of being home from school, we sat down with our parents and decided we needed to do something productive with our time here,” Annie said. “As the news kept getting worse about small businesses and restaurants being compromised, we thought of a way we could help those hourly employees who were now out of work… We then began fundraising and reaching (out) to local restaurants and asking for the names of some of the employees left most vulnerable in this time.”
She added that they raised about $8,000 and have been able to help 15 employees in four days as of the evening of March 19.
Annie said they’ve been hand-delivering money and doing Venmo transactions to the workers.
She said they’ve helped employees at the following places as of the evening of March 19:
- Lucky’s Cafe
- Chip’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers
- St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin