Restaurant workers help storm victims

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Maria Castleberry probably would have given her waitress a nice tip anyway Sunday at Art’s Kitchen.

“The service was excellent,” said the Smithfield resident, a newcomer to Art’s. “It’s really neat what they’re doing, so I gave them something extra.”

That something was a donation to the restaurant’s fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims; all tips handed out Sunday went to the fund, which totaled more than $330 by day’s end.

Email newsletter signup

“This was the least we could do,” said server Nancy Taylor. “If people on waitresses’ salaries can afford to donate, anyone can. We were hoping we could donate at least $200, and we did better. There were people putting 10s and 20s in. I know we were a lot busier because of it.”

Fellow server Crystal Dowdy was thinking of her family’s friends, among the thousands driven from their homes by one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

“They lost everything,” she said. “Their houses, their cars, everything’s gone. They’re very devastated. They’re trying to get a grip on what’s happening.

“I still have my house and my belongings, and just to give to people who don’t have anything means a lot. I was very surprised at the turnout.”