Service Industry Relief Fund

As I awoke this morning to news that person-to-person service at bars and restaurants has essentially been ordered to cease, I scrambled to think of a way to show my support. We all know that Milwaukee would be nothing without our social gathering spaces, and the people who make them world class. As a proud long-time member of the Milwaukee service industry, I cannot fathom the uncertainty that our local bartenders and servers are currently facing. Being in the highly regulated health field, I struggled to formulate a plan to legally and ethically do my part to ease the financial burden on our service industry folks without encouraging anyone to go against current local and national health recommendations. So this is what I’ve come up with:

1. Keep supporting those in food service as much as possible! Order take out and delivery from all of your favorite spots, and try some new ones. These are the people we rely on to host our most important moments and to show our out of town friends and family just how great Milwaukee is when times are good, now let’s show them just how much they mean to us when times are uncertain. Our support now will at least help to get the bar and restaurant owners, managers, delivery and kitchen staff through until things start to return to normal.

2. The ones really being left behind here are the bartenders and servers. The people who rely completely on our cash tips cannot simply put their financial obligations on pause until it is deemed safe to resume unrestricted person-to-person interactions. That is why I am asking local businesses (and individuals) to show their support. I will be collecting cash and check donations here at the office during our normal hours from 9am-1pm and 3pm-6pm Monday through Thursday until the restaurant and bar ban has been lifted. I have directed USBank to create a new account titled “Service Industry Relief Fund” into which anyone can deposit using the account number 1823 7920 6671. I will work on setting up a Venmo account for donations as well.

I will be updating here daily the names of the businesses and individuals who have shown their support so our service industry friends can track where the love is coming from (and follow just how much love has been shown as well). And because these people need the funds NOW, at the end of each day I will be purchasing as many $100 gift cards as we can afford at local grocery stores so our furloughed service industry folks can get the food and supplies they need to support themselves and their families. I have been in touch with bar and restaurant owners and managers to get tallies of how many tipped employees they have and I will be delivering the gift cards to them, so that their employees only need to arrange with their employers for pick up or delivery of the gift cards (hopefully this way nobody feels left out or uncomfortable accepting help). East Side Family Chiropractic will donate the first $500 to get the pot started. Let’s show some love Milwaukee!

***IMPORTANT: If anyone reading this is, or knows someone in a managerial position at a grocery store who is able to commit to matching a percentage of the donations that will be spent at their business and is interested in doing so, please contact me. I want to make sure that our dollars go as far as possible, so the store feeling most charitable is where I will be spending the funds.

***PLEASE MAKE CHECKS OUT TO: SERVICE INDUSTRY RELIEF FUND

Donations

  • Steve Eastwood 
    • $50 
    • 15 d
  • Frank Martinelli 
    • $25 
    • 15 d
  • Mary Zimmermann 
    • $100 
    • 17 d

Organizer

Spencer Kronz 
Organizer
Milwaukee, WI
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