ATHENS, GA – A chef at a local restaurant is good with her recipes for food, and her recipes for happiness.

A customer leaves Mama’s Boy with more than just her meal. She has two of Raven Burgins’ handwritten thoughts of the day letters. Raven says she started them because, “When I was in Florida, I came down with cancer for seven years. And I’d go to, saw so many people getting radiation and they were always sad. It kicked in one day, I said, ya know, maybe they need something to perk them up, something I can pass out, something they can look forward to.”

And they are appreciated. Abbey Ferguson still has hers, and remembers what it says, “It says ‘happiness is a way of being wise.'” And when she got it, “It made my day better, I guess. I was having a really bad morning when I went to Mama’s Boy.”

Burgins gets her inspiration from books and from friends. She says the letters don’t just help others, they help her too, “Well when I read them, they make me feel good, as far as doing it. And then when I people’s reaction to them and they get involved and bring me stuff, makes my heart happy. I guess that’s the way I could put it; it gives me joy.”

Burgins says these inspirational messages will continue as long as her hands and her brain work. That means as long as she works at Mama’s Boy, you can count on a meal, and a message.

You can pick them up on the counter as you walk out. The one I picked up said, “Education is not the filling up of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

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