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Georgia bar owner gives employees $3,714 worth of bills stapled to walls of establishment

1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 April 09, 2020 10:24 PM April 09, 2020 in News
Source: CNN

GEORGIA- A bar owner removed $3,714 worth of bills that were stapled to the walls to give to her unemployed staff amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Owner of The Sand Bar, Jennifer Knox, says it is a chilling sight to see the establishment completely empty and quiet, no customers or employees in sight.

Like many other restaurants, The Sand Bar had to close its doors after officials put the stay-at-home order in place and mandated restaurants switch to takeout and delivery only.

While businesses are left to struggle financially, so are the employees. Knox said she realized there was an opportunity to help her now unemployed staff when she sat in her empty bar one evening at the end of March.

"We were sitting there doors locked and I'm like oh my gosh, 'there's money on the walls and we have time on our hands," she said, referring to the bar's decor. "'We gotta get this money down.'"

Customers have left their mark on the island bar by writing on a dollar bill and stapling it on the walls and ceilings for nearly 15 years.

Knox worked as a bartender at the establishment for seven years before owning it, and now, she runs the bar alongside her mother, Pam Hessler.

"I can't just sit here and do nothing," Knox said of the decision to take down the dollar bills to try and help her employees. "I'll do what I can for my people."

Volunteers took on the tedious task, gently taking down the weathered money over three and a half days. Knox said some bills were covered in staples, some of the currency came from countries across the globe.

It took over a week to clean and count the money after the bills were taken down. 

In total, $3,714 were collected and the stacks of bills stretched in piles across the entire bar countertop.

Several customers donated to the cause after hearing about Knox's act of kindness. She was able to distribute $4,104 to her staff. Four bartenders and two musicians were each given $600, she said.

With the town depending on beachgoers to keep the economy alive, March was supposed to be the beginning of the busy season coming out of winter. Now, like everywhere else, their business is on hold, and Knox remains unsure of what the future holds.

"We all look out for each other," she said. "We are all in this together."

Knox said she is hopeful that The Sand Bar will reopen. She is still collecting donations to distribute.

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