Why a pizza shop in Ohio is throwing a free Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless.
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CNBC's The Profit

On most days, Bada Bing! Pizzeria in Springfield, Ohio, simply cranks out the garlic knots and calzones (to great Yelp reviews). But this Thanksgiving, it's taking on a different role: as a refuge for people in need.

"A lot of people, just like myself, we don't really see what's going on in the community when it comes to homelessness and poverty," Bada Bing! owner Jason Hague told Upworthy. "A lot of us just go to Walmart or the mall to go shopping and we just don't see the plight of others that are in need."

Hague had already planned to host a Thanksgiving dinner in the shop for his friends, family, and members of his staff who didn't have anywhere else to go when he thought:


Why not invite local homeless and hungry people too?

In order to make sure word got around, Hague put this sign in the window:

Photo by Bada Bing! Pizzeria/Facebook, used with permission.

"I wanted to put the sign on the door just to let people know, 'Hey, we're closed, but we're here as well, so if you want to come in, stop in, we got a seat for you," Hague said.

The photo quickly went viral in the community — and around the Internet.

As of the time of publication, the photo of the sign had been shared over 5,000 times on Facebook.

"Come dinnertime last night, we were just so inundated with not just customers, but people just coming in that wanted to help out and donate their time, services, or money to helping out with this cause," Hague said.

According to Hague, one customer — an elementary school-aged kid — has even offered to perform magic tricks at dinner.

Hague's plan to invite the homeless and hungry to Thanksgiving was a big hit with the pizzeria's staff as well.

Photo by Bada Bing! Pizzeria/Facebook, used with permission.

"I think it's absolutely amazing," Michelle Butler, an employee of the pizzeria, told Upworthy. According to Butler, when Hague announced the Thanksgiving plan, many on staff immediately volunteered to pitch in.

"I donated four turkeys. We went from three turkeys to seven turkeys," Butler said. She plans to make them all tonight.

Though Hague is a little nervous about being overwhelmed with people, he's grateful for the amazing support of his staff and customers. Initially, he had enough food for 15 people, but after all the attention the post received, he went back to the grocery store and purchased 100 servings of turkey and all the trimmings.

Bada Bing! is one of a number of restaurants reaching out to those less fortunate.

Hague with a Springfield local outside Bada Bing! Photo by Bada Bing! Pizzeria/Facebook, used with permission.

Restaurants like Rosa's Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia have received a ton of attention and praise for allowing customers to "pay it forward" by purchasing pizza slices for the needy for $1 each. Back in April, the owner of P.B. Jams in Oklahoma City left a note for a person digging through their trash inviting them in for a free meal.

The thing they all have in common? The desire to treat homeless and hungry people not as objects to be afraid of, but as fellow members of the community who might be down on their luck and in need of a hand.

"Even if we're able to feed just one family, I'm OK with that," Hague said.

It's a sentiment that the Bada Bing! staff shares.

"A lot of people don't have families to go to, and there's a lot of homeless here in Springfield," Butler said. "I think it'll bring people together and just be a special time."

For Hague, that's exactly what the holiday is supposed to be.

"Thanksgiving is one of those days that you want to spend time with your family and friends, but it's also a time to give thanks for what you have, and we've been very blessed here," Hague said. "So if we're able to bless someone else by giving them hope, then that makes me feel good."

"That's my holiday."

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Sperm whales are uniquely shaped, with humongous, block-shaped heads that house the largest brains in the animal world. Like other cetaceans, sperm whale babies rely on their mother's milk for sustenance in their first year or two. And also like other cetaceans, a sperm whale mama's nipple is inverted—it doesn't stick out from her body like many mammals, but rather is hidden inside a mammary slit.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less