In the best-case scenarios for charitable giving, the costs are shared and the impact is doubled or tripled. That is exactly what Birmingham-based attorney Lawrence King of Simmons, Ford & Spree, P.C. set in motion when he purchased a $100 gift certificate from Rocky’s Grill & Soda Shop.
In mid-March, King learned that gift certificates were the best way to support Brevard businesses after North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper put a stay-at-home order into effect. That order shut down most retail and dining businesses to stem the spread of Covid-19.
King, who has been bringing his family to Western North Carolina for years, and who often stops at Rocky’s for lunch, didn’t want to imagine Brevard without its lively shops and restaurants. He felt strongly that like any other “Brevard regular,” he should contribute to their sustainability.
“I purchased a gift certificate from Rocky’s as a way to help a Brevard business I am fond of. I realized that I wouldn’t be traveling to the area for a long while, so that seemed like the best way to say ‘I care,’” King said.
In a conversation with Jacob Dinkins of Bracken Mountain Design Build (BMDB) a few days later, King, who is building a second home near Brevard with BMDB, mentioned his purchase and asked Dinkins if he could find a deserving Brevard family to surprise with the gift certificate.
Dinkins said he felt right away that BMDB should match his client’s noble sentiment and find a way to make King’s good intentions count even more.
“After a brief conversations with BMDB partners Matt Jarvis and Rob Skeen, we all decided to match Larry’s purchase as a way to double the benefit to an iconic local business and deliver a piece of good news, for a change, to at least two families in a time that is stressful – both financially and emotionally – for many among us,” Dinkins explained.
Fast-forward 10 weeks, and Governor Cooper has lifted some restrictions on retail and dining. Two foster families, whose names were drawn from a basket by employees of Transylvania County Department of Social Services, will get to share a free meal at Rocky’s with the children who are in their care.
Angie Gillespie with Transylvania DSS had suggested that foster families would very much appreciate the respite offered by a free meal, especially in the midst of this pandemic. Foster families offer temporary or long-term care for children who are not able to live with their primary family.
“We are very pleased to be a part of this plan to help support a local business, and to celebrate local families that are helping local children. The Covid-19 virus is challenging, but it also brings out a lot of positive community reactions and interactions,” Gillespie said.
For the partners at BMDB and King, the payoff is immediate and immense. “I think Larry would agree with me in saying that everyone who can, should give to someone who can’t. It’s two family dinners, not a weekend in Paris, but it’s hopefully a welcome break for these two families,” Dinkins commented.
“We felt it important to tell this story to perhaps inspire other not-in-Brevard, but with-Brevard folks to make an effort to contribute to local businesses and ask local businesses they frequent to get involved,” he continued.
“I know as a company, we are happy to be one part of a win-win-win,” added Dinkins.