With the coronavirus wreaking havoc on the lives of both people and businesses, Gloria Chu, a pediatrician for Piedmont Athens Regional, and her friend Ellie Macknight got together to make a solution.

“When we saw the restaurants start closing, I mentioned to Gloria that someone should pay the restaurants to send food to the hospital as a thank you for their work, it could be a win-win,” said Macknight in an email.

So the idea became a post with a Paypal, only getting a few donations.

With the money in her pocket, Chu bought some pizzas and sent them over to the hospital. Little did she know that would cause a domino effect of donations pouring into the fundraiser.

By the end of the day, we had $400 in the Paypal,” Chu said.

Then, $400 turned into thousands of dollars—in just a few days.

The Athens We Love You Fundraiser became Facebook official soon thereafter. Click the screenshot to go to the page.

Screenshot of the Athens We Love You Fundraiser page on Facebook. (Photo/Anaya Gibson)

Chu and some volunteers help to deliver the food to individual floors at Piedmont Hospital in Athens, with menus ranging from cake from The Grit, to Mexican from Taqueria La Parilla to pizzas from Automatic Pizza—all local Athens restaurants.

Hospital staff unload car full of food from Taqueria La Parilla in Athens, Georgia. (Photo Courtesy/Gloria Chu)

Some restaurant owners want to donate their money to Piedmont Athens Regional, but Chu quickly reminds them that the money raised is theirs. Listen to what Dr. Chu’s response.

“I got the money to give to your businesses, to help your business, and they’re like, well let me give you a deal! And I’m like, actually you don’t have to,” Chu said. “They’re just so many people wanting to help. It’s been really heartwarming to hear that from business owners.”

Anaya Gibson is a fourth-year journalism major in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.



  • Show Comments (1)

  • Lou Kregel

    This is wonderful! Thanks Ellie and Gloria

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