OSGOOD, Ohio (WDTN) — A Darke County restaurant is living up to its name, giving more than $750,000 to families in need.
The Do Good Restaurant and Ministry located on Main Street in Osgood opened in December 2019.
“I was working in my kitchen one day and a voice spoke out loud. The voice said I was to open a restaurant. It would serve as a ministry,” says founder Karen Homan who says she drew her inspiration from the Holy Spirit.
Head Chef Ali Vanderpool was one of the first people hired to work at Do Good.
“I was all in,” says Vanderpool, after she realized some flaws in her previous restaurant job. “So I’ve been here actually since they broke ground.”
Since its opening, it’s brought a lot of people together to the table.
“We’re supposed to cross all of these people’s paths in whatever way– whether we understand it or not. They’re meant to be here in the same way we’re meant to be here,” says Office Manager Ashley Wendel.
Wendel is part of the paid staff, but some of the others are volunteers.
“Gosh we have over 300 volunteers at this point. Yeah. We have some paid staff to make everything work smoothly. You need that. But a lot of them are volunteers,” exclaims Homan.
“It’s exactly as the title says–do good. When you do good, you feel good,” says Sandy Schmitmeyer, a volunteer server.
They can serve 150 customers at any given time, and have found customers to be overwhelmingly generous.
“It was December 1st, a Tuesday. I’m working as bartender, the lunch crowd, as usual. A lady comes in and purchases ten $50 gift certificates for the holidays for employees and such. And I thought that’s great. That’s nice. And I’m filling out the gift certificates, and she’s just at the end of the bar talking with some other patrons, and I said, ‘Miss I’m still going to need that $500,’ and she said ‘oh here,’ and she hands me a check for $10,000!” exclaims Dale Schmitmeyer, who’s a volunteer bartender.
“I was like $10,000! Whoa! But people are generous. They’re kind. People really do want to help other people.” says Homan.
“It is really amazing when you clock out at work and you see how many tips you have gotten say it be $2,000 or even just $50,” says Anna Barlage, the Front House Manager.
The tips that come in don’t go to the employees. Every month, tips go to a family in extreme need. Customers learn about the “tip of the month” family through a card placed on their table.
“The [June] tip of the month–They have a little girl–a three-year-old and she was born with Dandy Walker Syndrome and something else, so I don’t think she’ll ever be able to walk, crawl, speak. So many disabilities. And they just had twins. Well, here each of the twins have something wrong with their heart and they were both shipped to Children’s, and the little boy did fine, but the little girl ended up having three open heart surgeries. And after the one surgery, she coded and they did CPR for a long time but her MRI shows significant brain damage. So they’ll have two children that’ll just have multiple handicaps their whole life,” describes Homan.
The “tip of the month” for July is for a 20-year-old college student who was hit by a car and is paralyzed from her chest down and will have to undergo extensive rehabilitation.
“For one family the father was dying of cancer and he passed away last month. Over I think just three–the course of three years–he was hospitalized so many times just so many medical bills. That helped pay for his funeral expenses. There was another widow. Her husband was killed in a traffic accident. She had five children. The youngest — I think– was 10 or 11 months old to 14. He had started to renovate their house. They never had a whole lot. But just a wonderful family. After a few days after his funeral, the basement was flooded or something. The house was never put back together. I mean they had– It was just terrible. So I think that family received over $55,000-$60,000,” Homan says.
To date, they’ve brought in more than $750,000 in tips to be donated.
“There’s always growth here. There’s always some form of love and encouragement and we have some amazing people to help you do that,” says Vanderpool.
The restaurant leaves both customers and employees full as they carry out the mission to “Do Good.”
“That’s a beautiful thing to see,” says Homan.