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For Good

Park + Vine paying it forward to help those in need

Michelle Dillingham of Community Shares helps the "pay it forward" board


Customers can pay it forward at Over-the-Rhine shop Park + Vine by pre-purchasing meals for those in need, specifically the homeless.

Owner Danny Korman was inspired this summer while visiting one of his favorite restaurants, Rosetta’s Kitchen, in Asheville, N.C., and noticing they offered a similar program.
 
Here’s how it works at Park + Vine: Customers order something off the menu for themselves and add any dollar amount to their ticket, then fill out a post-it note with that dollar amount and tape it on the wall next to the lunch counter. Each note can be redeemed by someone who really needs it, regardless of his or her financial situation.
 
“One thing I love is that for a moment in time it removes our own ego,” Korman says. “We get so caught in our own head and worries that it separates us from what’s happening around us and with others.”
 
Tabs can pay for a beans-and-rice dish priced on a sliding scale of $2 to $7, but customers can purchase any menu item for a stranger in need.
 
The act of kindness movement at Park + Vine is only two weeks old, but it’s already resonating with customers.
 
“Last week, we had a woman who was having lunch with some folks take two of the tabs on the wall to put toward her purchase,” Korman says. “She charged the remaining amount on her card and then added $3 to pay it forward to someone else.”
 
The contagious pay-it-forward movement is happening all across the country. A recent NPR segment highlighted a pizza shop in Philadelphia, where 10 percent of sales come from paying it forward by the slice.
 
The Park + Vine lunch counter is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday for brunch.
 
Do Good:

• Buy a meal for a stranger at the lunch/brunch counter at Park + Vine, 1202 Main St., Over-the-Rhine.

• Follow owner Danny Korman's blog on Park + Vine's website.

• Find ways to pay it forward within your own community.
 

Read more articles by Jayna Morris.

Jayna Morris is a contributing writer and editor for Soapbox. Learn more about her at www.jaynabarker.weebly.com.
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