FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- What used to be a vibrant, historic area with sightseers enjoying downtown restaurants is no more. Fayetteville, like many other cities around the world is struggling as COVID-19 continues to spread.
This global pandemic has many businesses hurting including the restaurant industry. Hospitality workers who rely on tips to make ends meet aren't working.
"It's got a lot of meaning. Lot of purpose," said Jerry McDonald, co-owner of Yellow Crayons, a custom t-shirt shop in downtown Fayetteville. "Not a lot of foot traffic downtown. Lot of businesses here that don't have a social media presence have had to temporarily close their doors."
As someone who has worked in the restaurant industry for 12 years, he wanted to help. The idea came from a stranger who sent him a design of the number 86 with a heart next to it.
"Most restaurant folks will recognize the terminology 86. It means you're out of something for the evening. Only for the time being," said McDonald. "The restaurant industry has been 86'd--hoping it'll come back real soon."
McDonald is donating $5 of the money made from the t-shirt design to the North Carolina Restaurant Workers Relief Fund.
According to NC Restaurant & Lodging Association Communications Director, Margo Metzger, more than $400,000 has been donated to the fund. The money will directly help hospitality workers who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to help cooks, servers, bartenders, dishwashers, housekeepers, etc.
"I wish I could give back more. With our small business in downtown Fayetteville, every little bit helps," said McDonald.
If you'd like to purchase a shirt in support of this effort, click here.
Fayetteville business donates $5 of shirt sales to NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund