2020 was a strange year and 2021 seems to be going the same way thanks to COVID19. With more than 3.26 million Covid19 cases around the world and over 85,000 deaths, it has become the biggest threat to human life since World War 2.
COVID19 is not just killing people, it is also killing businesses and putting people into debt while leaving millions starving on a daily basis. One business that aims to stop people from starving is Drexell and Honeybee’s Restaurant in Alabama.
The donation’s only restaurant is doing an incredible job of feeding the local community. They want to make sure that no one goes hungry, and everyone no matter who they are, or how much money they have, can have a proper meal.
With 75% of the local Alabama community struggling with the Covid19 pandemic, Drexell and Honeybee’s Restaurant has become a vital community hub. Now, after the local heros have launched a fundraising campaign to continue with their good work.
Owners of Alabama Drexell and Honeybee’s Restaurant Lisa and Freddie McMillan have teamed up with singer songwriter Maximiliano Nealon, to raise money by releasing a song. The song “I was Hungry (and You Fed Me)” which is available for download will raise $1 for the donation’s only restaurant each time it is downloaded.
We wanted to learn more about the good work Lisa and Freddie McMillan are doing in Alabama and how their local community is coping with Covid19.
- You run a popular restaurant called Drexell & Honeybee, how has the COVID19 pandemic affected your business? Since COVID19 we have had to close for a while due to State law and reopen several times depending on the spread of the virus. We are used to having visitors travel from all over the country to visit our restaurant…since COVID19 that has dropped 95%. We are open right now doing ToGo orders only.
- When did you first open your restaurant? We opened on March 26, 2018.
- What percentage of the community do you feel are struggling because of COVID19? 75% from either the virus itself or the isolation and restrictions put on them because of the virus.
- How would you say moral is in Alabama at the moment? Pretty much the same as it is all over…everybody just wants COVID19 to go away. We in the south may be a bit more patient than some in other parts of the country.
- Your Alabama restaurant is at the centre of the community, has your local community changed since the pandemic began? Yes, it has changed a lot of people who were once very outgoing to staying at home waiting on this to go away. A few other restaurants such as ours have opened back up since the shutdown to take out only.
- Instead of fighting for survival, and making sure you get through the struggles that the COVID19 pandemic has caused, you are instead fighting to feed your community, can you tell me more about that? The main purpose of our restaurant is to be the center point of our community doing good and especially bad times. People are struggling in large numbers and it is our main objective to be there to provide that hot meal that may be needed for them and a perfect stranger that may be travelling through town. We provide our meals as a free service to anyone that comes to our doors.
- So, let me try and understand this, your restaurant is now a donation only restaurant, how does that work? We opened and have always been a donation’s only restaurant. Anyone can come into our restaurant and get a meal without paying a penny. We have a donation box set up in the corner where people can go and privately leave a donation or not.
- So, if someone who has been laid off work because of the pandemic came into your restaurant hungry and could not pay, they would still be welcome? Absolutely, they are most welcome…we do not handle money in our restaurant at all. Our restaurant is called: Drexell and Honeybee’s Donations Only Restaurant…All Are Welcome.
- I have heard people becoming emotional because of the great work you have been doing to feed the community, how does it make you feel knowing that you are making a real difference in Alabama? It makes us feel like we are making a difference in the lives of so many people either through our hot meals or as an example. We get so many people asking how they can do the same thing in their community and as we share our story…we always stress to them that money cannot be their main objective. The needs of the community must be the primary focus and the desire to serve others as humbly and loving as possible.
- You are launching a fundraising campaign to raise much needed funds; can you tell me more about that? We know so many are struggling right now, and we thought this would be a great way for every one that wanted to contribute this would be a great chance to do so. $1 is all it takes to download this wonderful meaningful song written especially for our restaurant and what we are trying to do.
- Why did you decide to raise money through releasing a song? We are always trying to come up with fundraisers that many people can participate in…this song is a win win…a $1 donation to us to help us continue to help others and a wonderful song to listen to for the person that downloads it.
- So, who wrote the song and how did they get involved? Maximiliano Nealon heard about our work at Drexell and Honeybee’s on facebook…he also ordered our book “Living Fulfilled…The Infectious Joy of serving Others and wanted to help us raise funds so he wrote a song especially for us.
- You are looking to raise $1 for each time the song is downloaded, how much do you hope to raise? We are hoping hundreds of people will download the song…we know they will love the song…it is a beautiful song with a strong positive message to the world. We are hoping it will become everyone’s message of hope and love.
- So where can people download the song from? https://maximilianonealon.bandcamp.com/track/i-was-hungry-and-you-fed-me
- Do you believe businesses in Alabama are receiving enough government support? The state of Alabama is in the process now of distributing 200 million dollars…like so many we are hoping to get a share of those funds.
- Have you looked at your business differently since the pandemic started? The pandemic has made us realize that we are indeed an important part of our community. The pandemic came out of nowhere…took all of us by storm and it has been a struggle and still is, but we are proud to still be standing and able to serve our community.