Back in April, Ashley Jiron, owner of P.B. Jams in Warr Acres, received national media exposure and attention when she left a note for a dumpster diver offering a free meal to her restaurant. Apparently, the person just had to walk in, tell the cashier he or she was sifting through the restaurant's trash, and then they would get a free meal with no questions asked.
Ashley wrote about her kind act on Facebook, which in turn got the attention of the KFOR Social Media Bandit. KFOR then aired a story about Ashley and her restaurant and the story quickly went viral on the inspirational "You Won't Believe What Happened" clickbait news circuit.
Doesn’t this feel a little bit calculated? I’m all for random acts of kindness, but it bothers me when people and places openly brag about their charitable contributions and good deeds. It feels exploitative...Actually, I’m not that cynical. It feels good to share a good deed. Plus, it can get you thousands of dollars worth of publicity and earned media. It’s a win-win.
Well, I guess you can say I underestimated the value of a random act of kindness. Apparently it's worth over $5,000 in Go Fund Me donations.
Last week, Ashley posted a series of Facebook posts talking about how she was struggling as a business owner and going to have to shut down P.B. Jams. After a few days, she had a change of heart and set up a Go Fund Me (promoted by KFOR) to raise money for... uhm... well... we're really not sure what she's raising money for.
Check out her page:
Oh, so she really doesn't explain what she'll do with the money, and / or / if she'll invest it back into her business. She just shows a clip of a BBC News report. It's almost like she feels she should be compensated for being a good person and offering someone a free sandwich. Doesn't that defeat whole the point?
Fortunately, Ashley gave a solid explanation:
I have an idea for Ashley. Maybe she should ditch the Warr Acres peanut butter and jelly restaurant idea and use that $5,000 to to create a non-profit. That seems to be where her passion is. By doing that, not only can she help more people and earn a nice salary, and she'll also look a little less tacky when asking people to donate money on Go Fund Me.
Seriously, call me an asshole, but that just seems shady to me. There are tons of people out there who make sacrifices and help others in need. It happens every day. If she's going to get $5,000+ dollars just for being nice, we should probably make her dive in a dumpster for it. Seems fair.