Bless Parker is the 51-year-old volunteer mayor of Miami (pronounced my-am-uh), a former mining town with a population of about 13,000 located in the Northeast corner of Oklahoma. During the pandemic, as in former crises, Parker helped homeless people get into church shelters to have their needs meet however, more recently, he and his colleagues have decided they needed to do something to help people who were having a tough time. From here, the idea of the Giving Walls was born.
Since the inception of the Growing Wall, a growing number of restaurants in Miami and other towns around Oklahoma, these walls are decorated with hanging receipts and anyone can walk in, take a receipt, and order a meal free of charge. The receipts are put there by customers who prepay for food and tack them to the wall, leaving them on offer for anyone who is hungry. Customers can order anything from a three-egg omelet to chicken-fried steaks, no tips expected, no questions asked.
“Maybe if we can show people what it’s like to take care of your neighbor during a time of need, it will spread throughout the United States,” said Parker. “We want to bring back the old hometown values that I saw when I was growing up here as a kid.”
Learn more about the Giving Wall and read the full story at WashingtonPost.com.