The pandemic has taken a toll on businesses across the country, and Alabama is no different.
The Department of Labor says the restaurant industry is one of the hardest hit. It's out of that hardship that an idea was born.
Stephanie Stern created the Facebook group "Tipping the Shoals".
She said she got the idea from a similar group in neigbhoring Lawrence County. S
he started it a few months ago as resturants started to re-open after being shut down because of coronavirus. The group now has more than 1,000 members.
Every week members in the group use CashApp, Venmo, and PayPal to donate what they can. The amounts range from $1 to$10, and even higher.
Once all of the money for the week is collected, Stern goes to a restuarant and tips her server the extra-large amount. Jordyn Lentz is a waitress at Newbern's Restaurant in Florence. She was the third person tipped.
"They were so kind while I was waiting on them," said Stern, who is also a UNA student. "They tipped me $800 and I was so shocked. That doesn't happen."
Lentz isn't the only one the group is tipping so far. They've given out more than $2,000 in tips to four different servers and one pizza delivery driver. Stern said with everything going on in the world it's good to spread a little joy.
"It is a major blessing. I could not do this by myself at all. It's the people that donate the money," said Stern.
Stern said the week leading up to the night they deliver the tip they always pray for the person recieving the money. Lentz said that part means the most because for the past year she's been in and out of the doctors office because of a mass on her brain.
"You don't know what's going on in peoples' lives, and that meant so much to me. That's what really got me. We need more of that right now. We need each other," said Lentz.
Lentz said she's had nothing but good news about the mass on her brain. It's just something her doctors are having to watch. She said the $800 she was tipped went to her bills and made a huge difference in her life. She's now a part of the group and gives to tip the next person.
Below is a list of the groups venmo, cash app, and pay pal information if you want to donate.
Cash App- $TippingTheShoals
Paypal- email@example.com (send as friends and family!)