Interns Meredith Bullock and Jillian Ellis from Lee University have worked on the project and said they have been pleased with the number of restaurants that have agreed to be a part.
“We gave ourselves a goal of 10 restaurants,” Bullock said.
Nineteen area restaurants have chosen to participate, giving diners a variety of cuisine and desserts to choose from in supporting the local chapter of the Red Cross.
“The local mom-and-pop restaurants have been great for partnering with us,” Bullock said.
The team asked area restaurants to donate 10 percent of the proceeds from the day to the Southeast Tennessee American Red Cross. Some have agreed, while others will be making a predetermined donation to the Red Cross.
Mentioning the Red Cross is not required for it to count toward the event.
“And that money all stays right here in Southeast Tennessee,” Bullock said.
Ellis said they started working on the project in January.
“Other chapters have done this in other parts of America but this is the first time that Southeast Tennessee has done it,” Bullock said. “And we’re hoping this is the way the event will be patterned year after year. “
The project has a personal meaning for Ellis.
“I applied for the American Red Cross internship because during the 2011 tornadoes, my family was affected by [the outbreak] and the Red Cross really supported us. They brought us food ... every single day,” Ellis said. “This event is something that … puts money toward that so it was kind of neat to work with what helped us.”
The Red Cross offers relief during natural disasters and house fires.
“They’ll bring clothes and food and whatever they need,” Ellis said.
Bullock said she has enjoyed the internship because “it’s very hands-on.”
“It’s taught me a lot about fundraising and talking to people to try and persuade them to support what you want them to support,” Bullock said
Bullock said it was good to be able to “work for something that you believe in,” as she has with this internship.
A complete list of participating restaurants can be found at http://www.redcross.org/news/article/2014-Dine-Out-for-Disaster-Relief.