Ladybird Staff Tip Fund

There is suddenly a lot of space in this tiny diner when I look around at where my people should be. Micha should be shimmying at the computer while she enters an order. Ally should be calling hot food and saying something smartass to Kianti, who should be flipping it right back to him. Drew should be stoic and steadily helming the flattop. Amber and Becca should be elbow to elbow getting drinks for their tables. We should all be together. Sending them away was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I don’t regret the decision I made. I closed in the interest of the health of the staff and public, and, sensing the surge of need that might arise in the coming weeks, am trying to safely serve as many people as I can for as long as I can. When I made the decision to close on March 14th, Pi Day of all days, I did so knowing that I was creating an intense financial hardship for all of us in order to protect our health and the health of the community. I immediately pivoted the entire operation from a happy, bouncy diner slinging comfort food into a makeshift sack lunch kitchen and grocery pantry with a focus on providing meals and groceries for folks who need immediate assistance, either because they were just laid off or because of the surge on existing services for families in our area. It is hard work, and lonely, I won’t lie. Now I spend every day providing for strangers while my mind is occupied with people I love and the sting of having turned them away in order to pull this off safely and sustainably. We knew better than to believe this was a two week closure. We knew it might not be safe to return to business as usual for a month or two. Like everyone in the last couple weeks, the Ladybird staff has born the tremendous uncertainty of what’s happening and figuring out what the next right move is. They are the hardest working, loveliest group of people, and they have done nothing but cheer me on and brace me up when I’ve slumped these last couple weeks. I owe them far more than I have access to. I hope we are all back together soon, that things can return safely to our normal busy pace in a too-small space. If you’d like to toss a little something in their tip jar to help them weather this awful situation, I’ll make sure it finds them quickly.

Donations ()

  • Matt O'Reilly 
    • $35 
    • 1 d
  • Tracy Kreie 
    • $100 
    • 2 d
  • Thurber Davis 
    • $100 
    • 3 d
  • Jill Yetman-Michaelson 
    • $20 
    • 6 d
  • Karen Smart  
    • $100 
    • 6 d
See all


Meghan Heriford 
Lawrence, KS
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