Local Bartender Donates Tips to Provide Christmas Gifts for Teens in Shelter

Ben Kazda is a bartender at Dig Pub and founder and owner of Hold Up vintage clothing. He, along with Dig Pub owners, fellow waiters and staff donated all of their tips on Monday to buy gift cards for teens living at the Austin Shelter for Women and Children.

Ben has been doing this for several years. He decided one year to donate all of his tips one evening.

Last year this effort raised $5,200 so that the shelters could get gift cards to the teens’ favorite stores like Aeropostale, Game Stop and Old Navy. It was very cool for the teens, who have an especially hard time living in shelter. Last night, Ben and The Dig Pub raised $6,786.17!

Dig Pub also donated 15% of all sales on Monday to the cause. The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program provides gifts for children 12 and under. Ben is making sure those over 12 have gifts as well.

Ben Kazda shared, “I have been doing this for quite a few years now. It started when I realized that I personally could help one person, or I could multiply my efforts by giving all my patrons a chance to help out. Last year was the biggest year I have ever had – raising $5,200. This year with the help of other bartenders and waitresses joining me in my efforts, my goal is to raise more than we raised last year for these teenagers who would otherwise not receive Christmas gifts.”

“It is so great when people in the community can really zero in on a way they can make an impact.  This was a definite need for our shelter, and Ben’s work over the last few years has transformed the holidays for these teens.” – Stacy Schwarz, Assistant Social Services Director for The Salvation Army Austin.

Ben knows that for the teens living in Salvation Army shelters, it is especially hard. They want to be normal and have gifts like other kids their age. A gift card to their favorite store gives them the opportunity to buy something they like during a very difficult time for them and their family. Ben is a true Austinite who wants to give back to his community and make a difference. Ben was also our volunteer-of-the-month in 2014.

We are so thankful to Ben and Dig Pub for their generosity to the teens in our community.

Dig Pub is located in Cedar Park. You can visit their website or find them on Facebook.