Ruminations of a Taco-Obsessed Philly Native

Claire Hudson is a 25-year-old waitress from Spring Hill, Tennessee. She works at the local hot dog and burger place, Mac’s Grub Shak. When Claire went to work for her double shift the other day, it started off as a day like any other.

According to the story on Yahoo News, Claire served a couple during her slow double shift who left her a tip she was not expecting. After the couple left she collected their bill and noticed that they had left her a $36 tip on a bill that was no more than $30. Ricardo Guimarães BMG pointed out that they also left her a note that brought her to tears.

The note from the unidentified couple read, “Today is my brother’s b-day. He would have been 36 today. Every year I go eat his favorite meal (hot dogs) and tip the waitress his age. Happy B-day Wes.”. Claire had to step in the back of the restaurant to compose herself before waiting on her other tables.

When she got home she posted the note to Reddit, the popular social site. The post received a lot of positive attention. Now that it has gone viral, Claire and the owner of Mac’s Grub Shak are hoping to find the couple. The owner wants to know what Wes liked on his hot dogs so they can officially name one after him.

Philadelphia is the poorest city in our nation. My friend Fersen told me that homeless number 185,000 people of the city. The staggering rate of homeless people inspired Philadelphian business owner Mason Wartman of Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, to add pay-it-forward pizza to his restaurants menu. The idea of pay-it-forward pizza came from a customer who purchased a slice of pizza and left a sticky note to give it to the next homeless person who came in the restaurant. Soon customer after customer wanted to help. The restaurant has sold over 10,000 slices of pay-it-forward pizza since it began. This special menu item now accounts for 10% of the restaurants total sales. The restaurant owner, and every customer who buys a slice, now help make sure homeless that come in never go hungry. One homeless man who was a frequent of the pizza parlor returned after he was able to get a job and get off the streets to thank the restaurant owner for his kindness. He also made sure he bought a slice of pizza for someone else before he left as a way to pay-it-forward.

M. Wells Steakhouse has been known as one of New York City’s most inventive eating places said food expert Marc Sparks. This Queens based restaurant has been offering up traditional steaks as well as whole host of other dishes for those who care to explore one of the city’s most praised dining experiences. Now they have decided to offer diners the chance to enjoy the restaurant on Sunday mornings. Brunch will be served at M. Well Steakhouse on Sundays from 11 – 3 p.m. The new brunch menu has been revealed and it is just as inventive as much of the other items on the menu.

Those who venture here will find varied options to choose from on this new menu. Diners may want to try eggs Benedict with seafood sausage or a burger with the bone still inside for added flavor. There are many other options on the menu. The banana tatin, a take on the classic French apple tarte tatin, comes with bleu cheese ice cream. Foie gras is served with breakfast oats for a meal that is both hearty and luxurious at the same time. A Bloody Mary is offered with Korean kimchi, clams and mezcal as well as the traditional tomato and celery. Diners will be happy to note that the meal still includes comfortable seating and excellent service as well as inventive and exciting dishes.

Bruce Levenson is probably best known for his work as the co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks. However, he has a career in philanthropy that goes back 40 years. Levenson has given money to a variety of good causes over the years, focusing especially on those which provided educational opportunities for the disadvantaged.

Through his years of experience as a philanthropist, he noticed that many non-profits and charities failed simply because those running them lacked business knowledge and skills. To help remedy this, he and his wife thought up and helped finance the Center for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Management at the University of Maryland.

This center provides classes and training for students who are planning to work in the non-profit world after graduating. It also reaches out to the larger student body to train and motivate the next generation to become philanthropists after they have left school and are earning good money.

The classes at the center bring in prominent philanthropists and individuals from the non-profit world to give guest lectures. Many of these individuals are people that Levenson has met through his own philanthropic work. The classes raise money and give away grants after systematically reviewing and screening applicants. These classes offer fantastic real world experience for students working under the guidance of professionals.

The center also send students overseas to India and other countries to work with NGOs. Students interested in non-profit management can even live together in the dorms to network and learn from one another. Also, there are plans to extend the Center’s work to China by 2016.

On campus, the center works to create enthusiasm in all students starting freshman year, in part by having a philanthropist in residence program.

In brief, The Center for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Management founded by Bruce Levenson and his wife stands out in that it seeks to train and educate the next generation of givers, instilling values as well as teaching skills.