Over 300 ‘adoptions’ still available to St. Louis industry workers in need

The coronavirus has devastated the St. Louis hospitality industry, but there are many efforts underway to help those in need. The Facebook group STL-Adopt a Server pairs unemployed industry workers with “adopters,” who purchase them essential items. While 700 people have already been helped, there are currently over 300 people waiting to adopt someone.

“We’ve got lots of support and love from the community, which is great, but the issue now is we don’t have as many people reaching out for help,” said Destiny Massey, an admin in the Facebook group. “Either they don’t know about it or they feel like they’re not that bad off and they think somebody else is more deserving than them. It’s OK to ask for help.”

In light of all the donors waiting to help someone, the group’s parameters have expanded.

“It obviously started with front- and back-of-house restaurant people,” Massey said. “But at this point, honestly, anybody local who’s out of work can apply. We’re taking immuno-compromised people, even hairdressers and tattoo artists – anybody we see that has a real need.”

Adoptees create an Amazon wish list of essential items like food, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, toiletries and pet food, and then they are anonymously assigned to a donor.

“We encourage them to ask for a couple fun items too,” Massey said. “If they have kids, maybe a puzzle or a game. Or maybe a pet toy to help liven up spirits.”

The group respects anyone who asks to remain unnamed; however, there hasn’t been much need for anonymity thus far.

“Surprisingly, a lot of people will leave a long ‘thank you’ post in the group about what they received,” she said.

To get involved as an adopter or adoptee, visit the Facebook group page or email adoptaserverstl@gmail.com