Before an evening shift at Jimmie’s Ladder 11 just a few days after the tornadoes, Nick Brandell said he was “working for Dayton.”
In a selfless decision, the Jimmie’s manager and bartender posted to Facebook last Thursday, May 30, that all the tips he received during his shift from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. that night would be donated to The Dayton Foodbank. He didn’t imagine the outpouring of support he would receive later that night.
“I had been working ever since the tornadoes had happened, and I hadn’t had any opportunity to give back to the community. So I thought that would be the best opportunity for me to do it. ... I was expecting like $400 or $500 but I ended up with like $1,350,” Brandell said.
When local boutique, Heart Mercantile, shared Brandell’s post to its business Facebook page, he said things really took off and people started showing up.
“They’ve been giving a lot back to the community. They’re putting together all sorts of great things for victims of the tornado. They’re the real heroes in this one, they really are. I’ve just been working the whole time, and they’ve been putting their hands in the dirt,” Brandell said.
Not only were his customers at the bar giving especially generous tips, people dining in were also coming over to the bar before leaving to drop a $20 bill or whatever they could give.
Between the tips he earned directly from bartending, Jimmie’s matching those tips and then a generous donation from Belle of Dayton Distillery and Warped Wing, Brandell will be handing The Foodbank a check for $3,200 today.
“It’s fantastic. It’s not overwhelming because I know the strength that our community possesses but it is heart warming to see that actually happen. Everybody is putting their differences aside and coming together for the common good,” Brandell said.