Inspired by their fellow employees in Salisbury, Maryland, staffs at eight other Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille restaurants throughout Maryland, Delaware and Virginia have announced that this holiday season, they, too, will participate in the casual dining restaurant/sports bar chain’s “Tips for Tots” program, donating all tips they earn Dec. 7 to purchase toys for local “Toys for Tots” programs and help bring the joys of the season to underprivileged children.
In addition to the Salisbury restaurant, which started the tradition in 2006, employees of the following company and franchise-owned locations have agreed to donate all the tips they receive:
- Delaware: Lewes
- Maryland: Columbia, Edgewater, Fells Point, Hanover, Salisbury, and Towson
- Virginia: Hampton and Leesburg
Specific location addresses, hours of operation, and other details are available at thegreeneturtle.com.
The Greene Turtle also announced that its corporate offices would add another $500 to the donations for each restaurant that raises a minimum of $1,000 in tips that day.
“Tips for Tots” was the selfless idea of Corlie Brice, a bartender at The Greene Turtle in Salisbury. She arrived for her shift one cold December night in 2006 and noticed a sign on the neighboring business, designating it as a “Toys for Tots” drop-off site.
She decided to use whatever tips she took in during her shift to purchase toys for the program; additionally, she enlisted her fellow employees and publicized her intentions to guests coming into the restaurant to increase the potential donation.
That evening, she and fellow bartender Chris Tingle took in $700, an amount that proved even more valuable when the manager of a nearby Ollie’s Bargain Outlet agreed to give her a discount on her purchases once she explained her intentions.
Since that inaugural effort, The Greene Turtle of Salisbury has donated more than $9,700 in purchased toys to the Wicomico County Toys for Tots program, both through the tips donated by restaurant employees and additional gifts donated by other members of the community.
Guests have rallied to the cause, occasionally giving tips as large as $50 to $100 on the purchase of a single beer. The staff makes shopping with the donated funds a team effort: armed with trucks, vans, and holiday spirit, they visit a host of area retailers that have largely agreed to offer discounts.
There was no way for Brice to know on that day how many thousands of lives she would affect over the years from her seemingly small, kind gesture.
“We are very proud of Corlie for having brought this program to life, and equally proud of our Salisbury employees and customers for having embraced it over the past five years,” says J. Michael Sanford, CEO of The Greene Turtle. “Finding new ways to give back to our local communities is an everyday goal for our company, and the fact that nine franchise and company restaurants have committed to ‘Tips for Tots’ this year is a true testament to how well that spirit has spread out throughout our extended family.
“We look forward to seeing smiles on many children’s faces as they open their holiday gifts this year, and to continuing this and our many other charitable efforts for years to come.”
This year, each participating location will purchase toys and donate them to a local “Toys for Tots” program, spreading holiday cheer throughout more of the Mid-Atlantic region.