Van Chaplin / Styling: Caroline Murphey
Sometimes doing good takes no more effort than following your normal routine. Whether it’s grabbing a pizza, gardening, walking, or recycling a used cell phone, you can find ways to make the world a little better.
Turning Diners Into Donors
Jeff Jackson and Patrick Hankins love dogs. As co-owners of Area 41 Pizza Co. in the town of Mount Laurel, Alabama, just outside Birmingham, they cater to canines and their caretakers when they stop by to relax on the sidewalk patio.
A couple of regulars approached Jeff about finding a way to help their volunteer group Hand-in-Paw with a fund-raiser. “I’ve seen therapy dogs in action,” Jeff says. “I’ve had the chance to see how people who might not respond to humans respond to animals.”
For two years, the restaurant has designated Monday evenings during spring and summer as Paws on the Patio, where pets and owners gather for drinks, pizzas, and playtime.
Jeff sometimes brings his own dogs, Ike (a boxer) and Sam (a cocker spaniel).
The nonprofit group, which trains therapy animals, occasionally brings as many as a couple dozen dogs to the events to show firsthand how they bring comfort and compassion to those in need.
The best part? The restaurant gives 8% of its sales from the entire event to the organization. All diners have to do is show up.
Pam and David Fetterolf, along with their daughter, Drew, and their 192-pound English mastiff, Alex, live in Mount Laurel and dine at the pizzeria weekly―but only recently learned about the special fund-raiser. “We’re really excited about this,” Pam says. “This is something we saw going on last year, and we’re very happy to be able to participate in it.”
David says, “We will make it an every Monday night thing now.”