LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Facebook group is spreading acts of kindness to help restaurant workers who are struggling financially this holiday.
Kentucky service industry workers have been hit hard by COVID-19, many of them are now having to choose between buying Christmas gifts for their kids or paying off bills.
The group 'Adopt a Server Kentucky' is giving back to restaurant workers who are trying to make ends meet.
It has more than 4,000 members. There is also another online group dedicated to restaurant workers in the Louisville area. Servers struggling financially can make a post about it with a link to an Amazon Wishlist. Someone who wants to help them can adopt them.
"At first I thought there's more children out there who needed it way more than I did but I did want my little boy to have a good Christmas," Kayla Clover said who is a server at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in Shepherdsville.
Clover hasn't been working since early November after testing positive for COVID-19.
"I had to quarantine for 14 days and then on day 10 my little boy got it so it had to start all over and then my dad got sick," Clover said. "By the time I was able to go back to work we had already shut down."
Governor Andy Beshear's COVID-19 restrictions forced restaurants to stop in-door dining through mid-December.
Clover was behind on her car payments and she also thought about her 6-year-old son and what his Christmas would be like.
"I was just like you know I'm probably not going to be able to get him anything because by that time my bills would be late and I would have to be paying them," she said.
It compelled her to post in the 'Adopt a Server Kentucky' Facebook group.
"Then I woke up one morning and sure enough he was adopted," Clover said. "My little boy got a bean bag, he got nerf guns, gift cards, all kinds of little toys"
A couple of people answered her call for help.
"Thank you so much you know y'all buying those toys for my boy mean the world to me and him," Clover said. "I just can't wait to see his face on Christmas."
One of Clover's secret Santas was Sara Melhorn.
"I usually remain anonymous but I think it's important to get the word out now and talking to you and making people stop and think about how people are suffering through this virus," Melhorn said.
She hopes her act of kindness will inspire others to step up.
"When somebody is really struggling I just think it's your duty to reach out and help your fellow human beings and help somebody out," Melhorn said.