COVINGTON -- Waitresses at the Waffle House located at the intersection of Bypass Road and Ga. Highway 36 believe in helping each other out. When one of their fellow employees faced a personal financial crisis, they decided to do something about it.
"Her husband was in hospice and we knew it was coming, but there wasn't any life insurance," said Lisa Beam, unit manager at the restaurant.
The waitresses wanted to help her with funeral expenses, but weren't exactly sure how to do it. As one waitress told a customer who was moved to pitch in to help, "We all make $3 an hour and just a cremation costs over $1,600."
Beam said on Sunday as they were discussing what they could do, one of the waitresses found a potato that resembled the character Patrick from the "Sponge Bob" cartoon.
"She said, I'm going to sell this to raise money for her," Beam said. "And the next thing you know, all the customers were giving money. It just turned everything magical and made a bad situation fun."
Each time one of the waitresses "sold" Patrick, they yelled it out and everyone in the restaurant applauded.
"Regular customers and customers we don't even know are helping out," Beam said. "It makes you feel good when there's so much bad stuff going on."
Unfortunately, the waitress' husband passed away Sunday afternoon while the group was raising funds toward funeral expenses.
"We were able to get enough money to get the funeral home to go ahead (with arrangements)," Beam said, adding that the group is now organizing a yard sale in the hopes of finishing paying the bill.
She said the sale will be at the Waffle House on July 17 and 18 and urged people to come out and shop and/or bring items for the sale.
"We have one customer who is older and he doesn't have any money and he doesn't have any stuff, but he just wants to come out and work it with us," Beam said. "That's awesome."