"She just loves everybody. She's never met a stranger. She really loves her job, and she misses everybody here."
Ms Ann Odessa Chick-fil-A
Credit: Chick-fil-A Odessa Town Center

Ann Mefford has worked at the Chick-fil-A on 42nd Street in Odessa, Texas, for the past eight years. The 89-year-old does it simply because she enjoys being around people.

"My favorite thing is the customers," Mefford told KOSA. "I talk to them all the time because I like to talk."

But with the restaurant’s dining room closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ms. Ann, as she is known to her co-workers and customers, has been stuck at home alone under self-quarantine. Even though she’s healthy and safe, Mefford admits to not being a fan of solitude. She misses her job and she’s bored.

"Well, a lot of times, I sit and watch TV when there's anything good," she told the local news station. "But I have a puzzle book, circle the word and lots of times I sit and do that. And I've been cleaning the closet getting ready for spring.”

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Knowing that she’s been having a hard time, Mefford’s Chick-fil-A family has launched a "card campaign," asking customers to share notes of encouragement for them to pass along to her. Restaurant staff will hold the cards for the time recommended by the CDC before delivery.

“It’s been a lonely time for Ms. Ann (whose only family includes 2 granddaughters—1 local and 1 in the Dallas area, along with sons-in-law of both her daughters who have passed away) and as you probably know, she LOVES people!” the restaurant wrote on Facebook. “We invite you to drop off a note of encouragement for us to pass along to her during this time.”

“When people say, well what kind of place is Chick-fil-A, you think of Ms. Ann,” restaurant manager Donna Harvell told KOSA. “She's a sweet lady, and she's very kind. She just loves everybody. She's never met a stranger. She really loves her job, and she misses everybody here."

Notes and cards can be dropped off or mailed to:

Cristy Hewitt

Chick-fil-A Odessa Town Center

3805 E 42nd St.

Odessa, TX 79762

Video messages can be emailed to Courtney Ashley at chickfilaodessa@gmail.com or texted to (432) 248-4407.

Hang in there, Ms. Ann!