Jeepney Employee and C-19 Survival Operations Fund

When I was growing up, my dad, who was a line cook, taught me how to make rice, and he was a such a stickler on how to make it.  He impressed upon me with his broken English that every grain of rice mattered.  Actually, with my little Tagalog and his little English, it’s only thru the language of food that we understood each other.  And he demonstrated how to wash the grains of rice in my hands, swirling the water around to remove the impurities and repeating the process of cleaning the grains at least 3 times.   There would be no need for a measuring cup or spoon, the balance of making the rice would be at my fingertips.  Little did I know then how far this lesson would extend.  Friendships and Dreams were like grains of rice and as long as I had the use of my clean hands, I would never go hungry.  

At Jeepney, many hands have gone into serving grains of rice.  I’d like to think that many dreams materialized and friendships crystallized over copious bowls of rice perfectly clean, perfectly seasoned.

It’s been my dream to push Filipino food forward and along the way I’ve made lifelong friendships.  With my staff, we have had the pleasure of getting to know you over the years and witnessed graduations and promotions, first dates that became marriages and baby bumps that turned into christenings.   We have celebrated birthdays and anniversaries with you and shared ups and downs and became lifelong friends.  For some, we have never met, nor have I had the pleasure of serving you, but it’s been wonderful receiving your words of support over the years near and far.  

When the messages began flooding in asking if we were okay, I was deeply moved, appreciative and a little bit in denial. Aside from all of us feeling perfectly fine, being in hospitality means we are typically concerned with how you are doing.  Which is why, I find it achingly hard to face this role reversal—I need your help.  

This has all happened so fast and furiously.  And with each passing day comes more and more hard decisions to make.  The harshest decision by far was deciding to close and telling staff with their willing and able hands that there was no work and with no work means no food, and no rent and the panic of survival gains speed.  And it doesn’t matter how much rice there is to cook or how many hands are able wash the grains, we must stop.  The number one priority is providing relief from the panic during this unprecedented international health crisis.  

Part of my denial is that I’ve been through 9/11, blackouts, snow storms and hurricanes, and we got through it.  I generally have a positive outlook on life that things will work out, and they do. But this time is different. I know that in order for us to survive and get back on our feet, I need to reach out.   Not only do I want to make sure my staff has relief, I want to ensure that there is a business for all of us to come back to.  With your help, we can do it.

If you are in a position to assist us in helping our staff and making sure that Jeepney survives,

The donation you make will go towards  Jeepney Employee Relief 
and C-19 Survival Operations for Jeepney.
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