New York is eerily quiet now, the usual bustle and clamour of the bars silenced. You can even hear birds chirping in the trees; a peaceful juxtaposition to the collective despair currently facing New York City’s service industry. Hundreds of thousands of hardworking servers, cooks, bartenders, co-ordinators and baristas are suddenly stranded without any source of income. Because of the nature of their jobs, those in the service industry cannot work from home and have had their hours cut or eliminated for the foreseeable future. Many are reliant on tips to survive, with thousands of food servers and bartenders otherwise earning under the standard minimum wage with no access to health care. As New York’s hospitality industry wrestles with the COVID-19 crisis, public, private, and non-profit sectors are striving to ensure that the city’s 321,000 food and beverage workers maintain some economic security and access to healthcare.
These are people holding up the fabric of our society. This crisis affects literally everyone who has ever eaten in a restaurant, gotten their hair professionally done, had a mani-pedi, ordered a cup of coffee, or gotten a drink at a bar.
Ivy X, a law student who works for a major talent industry, immediately organized Tips For Kicks NYC, a GoFundMe focusing solely on tipping service industry workers.
“Think about how much you tip for a coffee, a meal, a haircut, or a live band playing at a bar,” she says. You donate however much you want. It goes into a pot and is divided among applicants who have been immediately impacted.”
Tips For Kicks has almost met their initial goal of $1000, but more is encouraged and everything goes straight to the recipients as a regular tip jar would.
HOW SOON TO DONATE:
The campaign will run through Saturday, March 28th to ensure that workers can get their tips ASAP.
HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:
You must be an NYC resident who relies on tips to supplement your income. You must apply by Monday, March 23rd to be considered.
Email the following to firstname.lastname@example.org :
• Proof of employment
• A short description of the nature of your work
• Your Venmo handle
All applicants will be notified whether they are approved through email.