“Life is better with a Southern Accent.” This is Little Rock’s brand. But, what does that mean? Well, it means adding a special touch to things, giving warmth to a smile when welcoming guests, providing genuine hospitality, because visitors genuinely are welcome here. It’s who Little Rock is. It’s what Little Rock does. Our people are our city’s greatest asset.
At Little Rock’s core is her people. Local citizens banding together, stepping up in unison, helping others in need. During this time of the federal government shutdown, approximately 100 TSA staff at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport have been showing up for work every day without pay. The airport staff has provided meals, as have Delta and Southwest Airlines. A group of local restaurateurs have collectively offered their services to take care of the TSA workers. Meals are being provided, and gift cards are being purchased for families.
“They (TSA workers) are showing up, getting the work done, and not getting paid during the shutdown. They are not calling in sick. They are doing their job. They appreciate words of encouragement, but they could use some help. I am asking my follow restaurateurs to step up and help by donating a meal for them. Wanna’ help? Message me.” This was an ask made by local restaurateur Capi Peck, owner of Trio’s Restaurant, on her Facebook page, Thursday Jan. 17. Within hours, that post had more than 180 shares, and several hundreds of comments of people wanting to help. At the time this blog was written, the following restaurants had committed meals: Trio’s, Tacos 4 Life, Doe’s Eat Place, Faded Rose, Soul Fish Cafe, Burger King – University Ave., The Root Café, Cathead’s Diner, Big Orange, Lost Forty Brewing, Heights Taco & Tamale, Local Lime, ZaZa, South on Main, Cajun’s Wharf, Capers, Copper Grill, Blue Coast Burrito, Honey Pies and Kemuri. The list is growing by the hour.
Other partners are stepping up, too. Taziki’s is offering a 25% discount to all government workers affected by the shutdown. The Arkansas Hospitality Association is organizing a food and gift card drive. Local citizens are coordinating meal deliveries on their own time and dime.
Take a good look at Little Rock. You’ll see “Love thy Neighbor” is taken seriously, and taken to heart. You’ll see what true hospitality looks like. And, you’ll see what life looks like with a Southern Accent. In Peck’s own words, “We take care of each other. This is what we do.”
For Kroger, Target and Walmart gift card donations, please send checks to:
Congregation B’nai Israel
3700 Rodney Parham Road
Little Rock, AR 72212
Make payable to:
Congregation B’nai Israel-Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund-TSA