NORFOLK, Va. - The service industry came to a screeching halt a few weeks ago due to the coronavirus pandemic, and many peoples’ livelihoods dried up overnight.
When this happened, Norfolk mom Melissa Corrigan jumped into action. She started a Virtual Tip Jar.
“It’s a place where you can give cash tips directly to anyone who’s been working in the service industry," she explained.
Bartenders, servers, hair dressers - anyone who provides a service but can no longer worker because of the state-imposed restrictions.
Her husband is a full-time IT worker but moonlights as a bar manager at night, so she saw first hand how workers in the service industry were struggling.
“I started with six cities, and we are up to 350," Melissa said.
Practicing social distancing, I went to Melissa’s house to give her a People Taking Action award.
“People are tipping out their favorite servers and bartenders, but they’re also tipping out strangers as well, right? Yeah, one young lady from Florida had a person tip her $250 through her Venmo from someone she doesn’t even know.”
And this is a family affair. Melissa’s 15-year-old son Grayson helps, too, as the Virtual Tip Jar has started to overflow, with more and more cities taking part.
“I design the graphics for different cities to boost the amount of cities she can have jars for," Grayson explained.
We highlighted Melissa a few weeks ago when she started the Virtual Tip Jar, but this time we were here for a different reason.
In addition to the People Taking Action award, we also presented her with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.
She was overwhelmed and surprised!
To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.