Last nights’s tragic events at JJ’s Restaurant in Kansas City were a tough blow for the entire restaurant industry. Around the country people stopped to think, “That could have been my restaurant.” or “That could have been me.” These sorts of events hit home for so many of us who never think about the dangers we face by simply going to work.
I honestly don’t have the words to sum up what I am feeling at this point. It is going to take some time to process this one. Instead of the endless cycle of typing and deleting that I have found myself in while looking for the right words, I am going to save that for another day. In the meantime, I wanted to share two thoughts with all of you.
First, I want to thank all of you for the outpouring of support and concern. Many of you know that I am a Kansas City native. What you might not know is that this and all of my sites were started just a few blocks from JJ’s. Immediately after the story broke, servers and bloggers from around the country were already contacting me to make sure I was alright and to ask how they could help. I know I speak for many of us here in Kansas City when I say that the outpouring of concern from around the country is astounding and greatly appreciated.
Second, I want to ask all of you to consider what you can do to help those that were affected. My restaurant was fine and I will have a job tomorrow. For those that worked at JJ’s this is the least of their concern. The local restaurant community is lining up to do what we can to make sure that these people have jobs waiting for them when they are ready. In the meantime, they deserve some time to grieve the loss of their co-worker and come to grips with what has happened. Some great people in the restaurant community have started a fund through PayPal to help gather funds to assist the members of JJ’s staff. I am also making my plea to ask for your help as well.
To encourage contributions to this incredibly worthy cause, I have set up a small gift to thank everyone for their donations. I have lowered the price of my book on the special page to $12.75. $10 of every copy purchased through this link will go to the JJ’s support fund. The remaining $2.75 will pay for the shipping. I will donate as many copies of the book as needed to help encourage others to donate to this worthy cause. This is just my way of saying thank you for contributing.
I will have a great deal more to say about this topic, but this is not the time. For the industry, this is a time to grieve and a time to come together to support those who suffered such a tremendous loss. I still need some time to process all of this myself. I think we all do. This is one of those days that I am glad I am not a professional journalist who has a deadline to turn in a story. A few of them have already contacted me trying to find some way to tell this story. I don’t have any answers. I am just a proud server and proud Kansas Citian. On behalf of all of us, all I can say is “Thank You” for all of your support and continued prayers.