Eating (and Donating) good in the neighborhood.

Are you going to lunch today? How about to dinner? Will you be eating somewhere other than home at one point today? Well – if you are – let me help you decide where to go. Go to Chili’s. Today, September 24th, Chili’s is donating 100% of their profits will to St. Jude’s Research hospital. For those of you who don’t know what St. Jude’s is – cruise around their website. They treat children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. They do ground-breaking research. They save lives. And no parent without insurance is asked to pay a dime.

But – if you need a more specific face – let me give you one:


That is Sasha. She is currently being treated by St. Jude’s for Leukemia. She has been in NikkiZ’s class since the day she started at her school. She is one of the many kids I got to know well while going back to the school ever two hours to nurse NikkiZ. Both of her parents are from Russia, so she is growing up bilingual. There’s hardly a girly bone in her body. Her best friend in the class is another little boy, and the teachers fear the damage the two of them can do together.

She has not been at school for months, but her parents are hoping she’ll be back by the end of the year. St. Jude’s is taking care of her now. And my family and I, who normally eat out at least once a week anyway, are going to choose Chili’s this week. And we’re going today. Actually – we’re going twice. We’re planning a family lunch with everyone and then we’re grabbing take-out on the way home.

While we’re there – we’re going to all color a chili pepper and hang it on the wall for a donation. We don’t have a lot of extra money, does anyone really? But we’re going to take our usual eating-out-so-Zoot-doesn’t-have-to-cook money for the week – and we’re going to put it to a meal and a cause that we can put a face to. Sasha’s face. If you have a Chili’s, and a hankering to eat out, we hope you’ll join us.


22 thoughts on “Eating (and Donating) good in the neighborhood.”

  1. oh man…I love Chili’s. My housemate loves Chili’s because of the veggie burger. hmmmm, wonder if I can get her to drive out there tonight for this good cause. :)

  2. I wish Chili’s was in our area – I don’t think there’s one in the entire state!

    It is an excellent cause – and I hope Sasha is able to return to school soon!

  3. Our closest Chili’s is over 30 miles away, but I will send my parents out since they are close by, and anyone else I talk to today. Thank you for sharing little Sasha’s story. I love everything about St. Jude’s and think they are one of the best causes out there.

  4. Our chili’s here has been having silent auctions for the cause. It’s so wonderful! We have been coloring peppers each time we go. We will also go out to eat there tonight.

  5. I would love to be able to help out. I ADORE Chili’s. But I can’t , they closed our Chili’s down last year. Which sucked.

    You will be happy to know that I frequently donate to St. Judes, and have just mailed off a check. Can that count?

  6. Had no idea Chili’s was doing this but St Jude’s is awesome … I’m going to help spread the word too … thanks for the heads up on the good charity :)

  7. i will definitely go to chili’s tonight…thanks for the recommendation.
    actually, i’ve been trying to convince my boss to do something like this at our restaurant. if he ever agrees, will you write an entry asking everyone to come to ann arbor and eat at our place?

  8. i’m so glad you posted this. our neighbor, 22-month-old D, is also being treated for leukemia. it’s horrible that any child–or any family–has to go through this. if eating a hamburger can help make it one less child, then i can do that.
    i’m going to find the closest chili’s and we’ll be dining out tonight. thanks again, zoot.
    (and prayers for sascha and her family)

  9. I hadn’t read your entry, until just now, when I sat down to eat my lunch at work. The lunch that I just purchased from Chili’s. And I NEVER eat there! I was craving the chips and salsa today, so I feel good that my choice has helped someone!

  10. I just looked at chili’s website and it doesn’t say anything about donating the money. Are they just not advertising it that much? I didn’t see anything when I was at the restaurant, either!

  11. Oh Zoot, that face & your story made me cry (and I think it’s a week too early for PMS).

    I don’t know if we’ll hit Chili’s tonight, but I’m emailing Daddyspeak right now. If he says no (he’s not a fan of the Chili’s, I think he may be the antichrist, but that’s just me) I’ll be making a donation. Because of those eyes and that face and but for the Grace of God that my child could be in that picture…

  12. I thot Sasha was a boy! you are right about the ‘no girly bone in her body’ part :)

    i wish i cud something but last time i asked, india is on the other side of the world from the US..

  13. We eat at Chili’s nearly every Monday (our weekly treat) glad to know we could help out a little bit by eating there last night.

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