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Family restaurant in Clarkesville launches a 'giving board' to help customers in need

When customers check out at Stoney's, they can now choose to add a little something extra for another customer who might need a helping hand.

ATLANTA — A small restaurant in Clarkesville is serving up a new kind of customer service, where their customers are helping to serve each other. 

Stoney's Family Restaurant has been in Habersham County for 55 years, and while it's known for its biscuits, this latest initiative is getting it noticed for its kindness. A "giving board" just went up in the family-owned restaurant that lets people pay for part of a meal for someone else, whenever they need it. 

Kaitlyn Ross visited the popular breakfast spot this morning and spoke to cashier Ruby Evans, who said she knew exactly what she wanted the giving board to mean when she hung it up. 

"That we stick together, we're a strong community. We are looking out for each other," she explained.  

Just last week, they started taking small donations for customers who need a little help. When people place their orders at the counter, they can buy someone else something - like a coke or a biscuit. 

Ruby said most people donate the lunch special to a customer in need. Others just give them $5.

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Stoney's said they want to keep it simple: If customers have a little extra to give, put a tack up. You need some help - take a tack down. 

But while they've had no problem getting donations, they've had a harder time getting people to accept them. 

"A lot of people are really hesitant, and I'm like, 'that's what it's there for! No judgment, just take it'," she said. 

Ruby said she's actually gone outside the restaurant to tell people about it. 

"I went out and approached (someone), and she comes in now and uses the board," she said. 

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As word of the giving board spread in Clarksville, other business owners wanted to help, too. 

"Everyone gets down on their luck, and just having that little support to pick you up can change your entire world," explained Alexia Dodson.

Dodson owns a second-hand store next door, and they're going to start putting their own notes up on the board. 

"We're getting ready to start bringing in vouchers for jackets and stuff like that, so families can come in and get a blanket or a coat and come to our store and pick it up," she said. 

While kindness is spreading amongst the community, the kindness isn't limited to those in person. If anyone wants to help, but can't come in and tack up an order in person, the restaurant can take donations over the phone, or they accept checks.

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