The biggest national conversation last year was arguably around sexual assault—with the infamous Harvey Weinstein scandal taking center stage, and testimonies from celebrities across the industry revealing their harrowing encounters with unwelcome sexual advances, harassment, and assaults informing a country of a dark, unexplored part of its identity. While the #MeToo movement has grown to stunning proportions, the social advocacy and public outcry against this type of behavior aren’t slowing down one bit—with the restaurant industry joining the effort for the second year in a row.
According to Uproxx, this Sunday will mark the second time waitstaff and bartenders across the country will be pooling their tips to support local charities working against sexual assault, in an initiative called "Tip Out Day." The process behind this charity, which was started by Molly Bird and Mark Schettler in New Orleans last year, seems fairly simple.
As the website explains, "On Tip Out Day, tipped employees are asked to donate a portion of their tips to a local charity focused on sexual violence prevention, response, and education. Tip Out Day exists to encourage bar, restaurant, and nightlife professionals to support building safer spaces within our industry and the communities we serve."
The Advocate reports that Schettler and his co-founder merely expanded a practice they had formed as a habit of generosity and social-consciousness while working in the French Quarter of New Orleans last year. “Every Thursday, he and his co-workers would set aside a portion of their tips to give to a different local charity. The recipient organization was generally decided upon by the first bar regular to walk through the door.” According to Schettler, it was something done out of genuine communal care, without any bureaucratic efforts. “We would take our money at the end of the night and put a check in the mail the next day,” said Schettler.
It’s always heartening to see small, humble beginnings lead to nationally recognized, mainstream movements. While Schettler and co. likely had no idea how far this thing would go, it’s pretty damn impressive to see Tip Out Day expand this quickly. For those of you living in New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Austin, Tampa, New Orleans, London, Vancouver, or Singapore, consider going out to one of these bars and restaurants on April 8th—instead of your regular hangouts—as your tips will go to work fighting for a pretty great cause.