My brother, Louis, and I are walking across the United States to raise awareness and funds for restaurant industry workers whose lives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As former bartenders, Louis and I experienced firsthand the hardships of working in the service industry during the pandemic. Increased stress, decreased wages, a constantly changing work environment, and the ever present anxiety of contracting the virus itself all contributed to a very challenging experience. After moving home, we both decided to leave the industry which for so long we called our own, hoping to ride out the virus and spare ourselves and our family's the stress of potential exposure.
This winter, after seeing our friends and peers in the industry continue to struggle financially and also cope with contracting the virus themselves, we decided we wanted to do something to help. Inspired by many cross country trekkers before us, we decided to pursue a life long dream of ours' to walk across the USA, interviewing as many bar and restaurant workers as possible along the way. As a writer and an artist, we believe in the power of storytelling to move individuals to action in more meaningful ways than conventional news coverage can. We intend to use our ever growing platform to share the stories of the individuals we meet and to ask for help for an industry which employs nearly sixteen million Americans.
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