BALTIMORE — Giving Tuesday typically falls after Black Friday but there is a special one happening on May 5 to help with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Giving Tuesday Now is designed to promote and support non-profits that are helping people impacted by the virus.
The Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund is hoping 1,000 people will give $5 on 5-5 (May 5) so they can raise $5,000 and have the funds matched by Sam Adams Beer and Dogfish Head Brewery.
The Relief Fund started as a Facebook page to offer support and resources to Baltimore restaurant owners and their employees who need help during the pandemic and stay-at-home order. They started organizing food pickups at hotels and restaurants for laid off workers and want to do even more.
"The main goal for the Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund is to provide grants to both workers and small micro-grants, as well as larger grants to food and beverage businesses that may not have received some of these federal loans," said Dave Seel, president of the Relief Fund.
Seel said while many workers in the local restaurant/hospitality industry have been able to sign up for unemployment benefits, there are still many others who haven't been able to get through the system.
"I feel like it’s going to be an evolving situation. It’s not just we turn back on and all the restaurants turn back on," he said. "I do know of several [restaurant owners] who say ‘Yep, we’re not coming back,’ but it’s an evolving situation."
Anxiety, fears and frustrations continue to linger as the pandemic goes on, but Seel says they are focused on doing all they can to help provide some relief to hospitality workers and rebuild this community.
"My goal and my team’s goal throughout with the Facebook group to bring forward a message of positivity, bring forward that together. We can and we will support each other. Together we will be able to get through this."
To make a donation to the Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund, click here.