On most days, Bada Bing! Pizzeria in Springfield, Ohio, simply cranks out the garlic knots and calzones (to great Yelp reviews). But this Thanksgiving, it’s taking on a different role: as a refuge for people in penury.
“A bunch of people, but like myself, we don’t actually understand what’s moving on in the community when it comes to homelessness and poverty,” Bada Bing! Owner Jason Hague told Upworthy. “A bunch of us only get to Walmart or the mall to go shopping and we just don’t understand the predicament of others that are in need.”
Hague had already designed to host a Thanksgiving dinner in the shop for his friends, kinfolk, and members of his staff who didn’t give birth anyplace else to endure when he called back:
Why not pay for local homeless and hungry people too?
In order to make sure word got around, Hague put this sign in the windowpane:
“I wanted to place the mark on the door simply to let people know, ‘Hey, we’re closed, but we’re here as good, and then if you want to come in, stop in, we got a place for you,” Hague said.
The photo quickly became viral in the community — and around the Internet.
As of the time of publication, the photograph of the mark had been shared over 5,000 times on Facebook.
“Come dinnertime last night, we were just so inundated with not only customers, but people just coming in that wanted to help out and donate their time, services, or money to helping out with this case,” Hague said.
According to Hague, one customer — an elementary school-aged child — has yet extended to do magic tricks at dinner.
Hague’s plan to invite the homeless and hungry for Thanksgiving was a great smash with the pizzeria’s staff as well.
Photo by Bada Bing! Pizzeria/Facebook, used with permission.
“I believe it’s absolutely amazing,” Michelle Butler, an employee of the pizzeria, told Upworthy. According to Butler, when Hague announced the Thanksgiving plan, many on staff immediately volunteered to pitch in.
“I donated four turkeys. We went from three turkeys to seven turkeys,” Butler said. She contrives to work them all tonight.
Though Hague is a little anxious about being flooded out with masses, he’s thankful for the astonishing support of his staff and customers. Initially, he had enough food for 15 people, but after all the attention the post received, he travelled back to the grocery shop and purchased 100 servings of turkey and all the fixings.
Bada Bing! Is one of a number of restaurants, reaching out to those less fortunate.
Hague with a Springfield local outside Bada Bing! Photo by Bada Bing! Pizzeria/Facebook, used with permission.
Restaurants like Rosa’s Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia have received a ton of attention and kudos for allowing clients to “pay it forward” by purchasing pizza slices for the needy for $1 apiece. Back in April, the owner of P.B. Jams in Oklahoma City left a bill for a person digging through their trash inviting them in for a loose meal.
The one thing they all have in common? The desire to care for homeless and hungry people not as objects to be afraid of, but as fellow members of the community who might be down on their destiny and in need of a hand.
“Even if we’re able to run just one household, I’m OK with that,” Hague said.
It’s a persuasion that the Bada Bing! Staff shares.
“A great deal of people don’t have families to go to, and there’s a bunch of homeless here in Springfield,” Butler stated. “I believe it’ll bring people together and just be a special time.”
For Hague, that’s just what the holiday is supposed to be.
“Thanksgiving is one of those days that you want to spend time with your kin and friends, but it’s likewise a time to render thanks for what you receive, and we’ve been really blessed here,” Hague said. “And then if we’re able to bless somebody else by giving them hope, then that makes me feel good.”