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A Georgia bar owner removed $3,714 worth of bills stapled to the walls to give to her unemployed staff

Jennifer Knox, owner of The Sand Bar restaurant and bar in Tybee Island, Georgia, found a creative way to pay staff she had to lay off during the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: Apr 9, 2020 9:55 AM
Updated: Apr 9, 2020 10:05 AM


Before the coronavirus pandemic, Jennifer Knox would walk into her bar and soak in the sounds of people chatting while sipping on their drinks and listening to local musicians strum along on their guitars.

Now, her restaurant, The Sand Bar -- located in Tybee Island, Georgia -- is quiet, with no customers or employees in site.

Like many other restaurants, The Sand Bar had to close its doors after officials put stay-at-home orders in place and mandated restaurants switch to takeout and delivery only. The restrictions, put in place to help control the spread of the virus, also left businesses -- including Knox's -- struggling financially.

As she sat in her empty bar at the end of March and looked around, she realized there was an opportunity to help her now unemployed staff.

"We were sitting there doors locked and I'm like oh my gosh, 'there's money on the walls and we have time on our hands," she told CNN, referring to the bar's decor. "'We gotta get this money down.'"

For nearly 15 years, patrons have been leaving their mark on the island bar by writing on a dollar bill and stapling it on the walls and ceilings. Knox just celebrated her six-year anniversary of owning the bar.

Knox, who worked as a bartender at the bar for seven years before owning it, now runs the bar with her mother, Pam Hessler.

"I can't just sit here and do nothing," Knox said of the decision to take down the dollar bills to try and help her employees. "I'll do what I can for my people."

Over the next three and a half days, five volunteers took on the tedious task to help gently take down the weathered money. Some bills had dozens of staples in them, according to Knox. Some of the currency came from countries across the globe.

After the bills were taken down, it took about a week and a half to clean them off and get them counted. In total, $3,714 were collected and the stacks of bills stretched in piles across the entire bar counter top.

After hearing about Knox's act of giving back, several customers donated to the cause. In total, Knox was able to distribute $4,104 to her staff. Four bartenders and two musicians each were given $600, she said.

Tybee Island, one of Georgia's most popular vacation destinations, depends on beachgoers to keep the town's economy alive. The town has a population of about 3,000 people.

Knox said that March was the beginning of their busy season coming out of winter. Now, like everywhere else, their business is on hold, and Knox remains unsure of what the future holds.

In the spirit of giving, one of the bartenders decided to donate her portion to another Tybee Island bartender. Knox wants to continue to give back to the small island's service staff. She is still collecting donations to distribute.

"We all look out for each other," she said. "We are all in this together."

Knox said she is hopeful that The Sand Bar will reopen when all is over.

When patrons do return to have a cold beverage after relaxing on the beach, they'll notice a fresh coat of bright colored paint replaced the wallpaper of dollar bills.

While Knox is unsure if the stapling of the money on the walls will continue, she said she is thinking of a different plan for customers to leave their mark.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 657037

Reported Deaths: 12450
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion901321624
Lake48105871
Allen35552632
Hamilton31839393
St. Joseph29538510
Elkhart25261412
Vanderburgh21115377
Tippecanoe19765197
Johnson16242352
Porter15838267
Hendricks15723296
Clark11843179
Madison11672314
Vigo11503228
Monroe10248158
Delaware9788178
LaPorte9720194
Howard9017194
Kosciusko8514107
Bartholomew7373147
Warrick7369146
Hancock7362128
Floyd7139164
Wayne6586188
Grant6395157
Morgan6040124
Boone603388
Dubois5868111
Dearborn540266
Henry539492
Marshall5390104
Cass537199
Noble506775
Jackson462063
Shelby458490
Lawrence4154111
Gibson399681
Harrison395160
Clinton392353
DeKalb382078
Montgomery381583
Knox354484
Miami354063
Whitley346235
Huntington338176
Steuben335955
Wabash328775
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Jefferson292770
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Clay238944
Randolph225076
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Jennings213544
Washington207727
Sullivan202038
Fountain200341
Starke185950
Owen181652
Jay177328
Fulton176437
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Perry172435
Orange170450
Rush163922
Franklin158335
Vermillion158040
Tipton145441
Parke137915
Pike127232
Blackford120027
Pulaski105643
Newton96431
Brown94639
Benton91113
Crawford90113
Martin80114
Switzerland7507
Warren74612
Union66810
Ohio52711
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 958153

Reported Deaths: 16968
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1109381191
Cuyahoga944201702
Hamilton72486944
Montgomery46927869
Summit39637941
Butler35004461
Lucas34724755
Stark29011826
Warren22137269
Lorain21738385
Mahoning19251533
Lake18178300
Clermont18172206
Delaware16261128
Licking14820194
Fairfield14378157
Trumbull14136454
Greene13470209
Medina13188218
Clark12121332
Wood11384193
Portage10829152
Allen10710231
Richland10165198
Miami9937179
Columbiana8049179
Muskingum8036123
Tuscarawas7974233
Pickaway795898
Marion7936134
Wayne7791216
Erie6783181
Ross6065135
Geauga5978129
Hancock5941110
Scioto5867105
Ashtabula5811140
Lawrence519073
Union505052
Darke5006122
Belmont484787
Sandusky472393
Jefferson4709107
Huron4701116
Seneca4620103
Athens456231
Mercer4559101
Auglaize453896
Washington451286
Shelby438867
Knox397884
Putnam3964101
Madison388747
Ashland374594
Fulton374364
Defiance3670101
Brown366742
Crawford354296
Preble350570
Logan349757
Clinton336162
Highland323652
Ottawa318467
Williams299578
Jackson287056
Guernsey283234
Champaign282545
Fayette265642
Perry265239
Morrow256624
Henry242665
Hardin241856
Holmes2416104
Coshocton230246
Van Wert227749
Gallia219446
Adams213732
Pike212025
Wyandot207652
Hocking192148
Carroll178828
Paulding158423
Meigs133536
Noble127842
Monroe114936
Harrison99132
Morgan98834
Vinton76215
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