The Dawg House is a high-end hot dog restaurant in Miami, Oklahoma (pronounced my-AM-uh). Owner Jennifer White decided to help during difficult times created by the pandemic and freezing blizzards.
Others throughout the state have now been inspired to follow in her footsteps. It highlights how a single act of kindness and generosity can have a big influence on the lives of so many people.
Miami is a small town with a population of 13,000 people, and its residents, like those in other regions of the country, have recently experienced hardship. Then, in February, two blizzards struck the area, exacerbating the situation.
White, a Miami native, transitioned from a food truck to an eight-table brick-and-mortar restaurant in September. To maintain safety during the epidemic, seating had to be widely spread.
White began giving back to the community shortly after opening, providing free meals to veterans on Veteran’s Day last November.
She’s also assisting with initiatives to provide free coats to those in need. Even the mayor of the town contributed his jacket.
When the blizzards hit in February, she got the idea to erect a giving wall with free meals. She wrote on a large red bulletin board:
“These meals are purchased beforehand if you or someone you recognize is hungry and can’t afford a hot meal immediately. Obtain a ticket as well as a bite to eat. #Payitforward #Lovethyneighbor #Lovelocal”
The Dawg House Giving Wall Continues to Give
Soon after, the community reacted by purchasing meals for individuals in need in the area. The Dawg House Facebook page shared photos of a great wall brimming with complimentary lunch vouchers for anyone in need. People in need could enjoy a warm lunch without being asked any questions or judged.
“Wow! What a fantastic community we have here! “The outpouring of support for our free dinner wall has been incredible,” the restaurant wrote on Facebook.
According to White, people from all walks of life, including the homeless and families, began donating tickets and receiving free meals.
“We’ve had several different personnel over the years. People who are simply trying to get a hot dinner till their next paycheck arrives,” White explained.
Customers may come later and purchase meals to present to others. They then cook and donate the meals to local charities if any tickets remain unclaimed at the end of the month.
Giving Walls as a Movement
Surprisingly, word of the Dawg House’s donating wall spread to other restaurants in the neighborhood. Former Zacks’ Cafe manager Lasay Castellano stated an immediate response from the community. The nursing student posted invoices to their personal giving wall for two months.
“We had nearly $600 worth of meals on the wall in less than a day,” Castellano said. “I knew people would rise to the occasion, and I knew this was going to make a significant difference. “
Castellano said it warms her heart to see the community come together to support people in need.
Meanwhile, word of the Dawg House’s plight traveled over the internet. The restaurant got free meal donations from as far as Australia.
“When everyone works together, AMAZING things happen!!!” In response to the news, one person wrote.
What began as a small act of kindness by one person has the potential to ripple across the country. Thank you, Jennifer White, and we hope you’ve sparked a national conversation.