Real-Virtual Support During an Unprecedented Time

Posted by Monica Hoel
E&H Alumna, Ana Owens devises a way to support of out-of-work restaurant workers.

Ana Owens is a reproductive rights activist in Washington D.C., but she just landed in a Reuters  news article because of her thoughtful heart and her philanthropic ideas.

Ana’s girlfriend is a bartender, and in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak Katie saw her tips disappear. Anyone who has ever worked in this industry knows how important tips are for income. 

So Ana had the clever idea to start a “virtual tip jar” that would offer money to servers and bartenders who were losing jobs as bars and restaurants closed during the pandemic.

According to the article, out-of-work servers say the idea not only provides a little extra cash at a time when it is desperately needed but also a welcome boost to morale. Says Deke Dunne, a D.C. bar manager: “Even if it’s just a couple of dollars, the gesture alone can help raise somebody’s spirits. Every little bit counts.”

Spread sheets have been set up in a wide range of cities that allow tips to go directly to servers, and those regular patrons with no bar to visit can still offer tips to their favorite servers.

Read the full Reuters story here.

Ana says Emory & Henry prepared her to be mindful of others. “My time at Emory & Henry taught me the importance of showing up for your community in all the small ways that you can. It’s a lesson that I’ve tried to take with me everywhere I’ve been since leaving Exit 26 and it’s something that I think is particularly invaluable in these times of struggle and uncertainty.”

Ana majored in Athletic Training at Emory & Henry. She played women’s soccer, and is a member of Alpha Beta Chi sorority.  

  • Ana Owens, E&H Class of 2012 (left), with some college friends on the E&H campus.
    Ana Owens, E&H Class of 2012 (left), with some college friends on the E&H campus.

“…Emory & Henry taught me the importance of showing up for your community…
Ana Owens
E&H Class of 2012

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