Donations-Only Family Restaurant Feeds the Need in Their Community

Donations-Only Family Restaurant Feeds the Need in Their Community

August 27, 2020 by Cathy Stack

Brewton, Alabama – Drexell & Honeybee is a small-town, family-style restaurant in Alabama run by a kindhearted woman named Lisa Thomas-McMilan. What makes her restaurant so special is that there is no cash register, menus or suggested prices in sight. Incredibly, the restaurant is run by donation only, feeding anyone with or without money to offer. Her mission is simply to, “feed the need” with dignity.

The restaurant’s fresh food offerings are plenty and consists of mouthwatering classic Southern dishes such as; fried chicken, cornbread, collard greens and blueberry cobbler.  The soul food is offered with a side of authentic Southern hospitality.  It has a real sense of community as everyone is welcomed, no matter how full or empty their wallets. Lisa described the restaurant as usually abuzz with lively chatter from a variety of customers; such as business people, blue collar workers, college students, senior citizens, and those less fortunate. 

When asked what motivated her generosity, Lisa recalled an unforgettable and powerful life lesson she learned about sharing when she was in 2nd grade. “One of my classmates always had a bologna and lettuce sandwich.”  In contrast Lisa observed that her own parents could only afford to pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.  One day the classmate happily split her meat filled sandwich in two to share with Lisa and from that day forward they traded lunches daily. “I knew that angels walked among us,” she fondly reminisced of her friend’s compassionate gesture.

Lisa also attributes her selflessness to her mother who encouraged her to help their more vulnerable neighbors.  It is in her nature to help those struggling. As in the case of an elderly nursing home resident who enjoys getting her hair done regularly but could not afford the treat.  Lisa stepped in and added the salon charge to her own monthly expenses.  Lisa says the value in that small act is priceless to both the giver and receiver.  

The restaurant’s donation box is located in a secluded area for anonymity.  Some customers leave coins, thank you notes, or generous donations; all of which are appreciated and invested back into the restaurant. “A note is worth a million dollars to me,” she said.  Lisa opened the restaurant motivated by her mission to feed the hungry rather than profit. “The most money I ever made was $15,000,” she admitted without regret.  “There is a lot of injustice in the world,” she said, feeling obligated to do her part.  She was overcome with emotion when describing how much helping others can enrich one’s life.  In return for all her hard work, Lisa receives the joy derived in knowing her well-fed customers walk away feeling valued and respected. She encouraged others to start a business built on the concept of giving in their own community.   

Lisa’s lifelong dedication to serving others and feeding the hungry is a great example of the value of compassion.  Lisa sacrifices her own financial resources and comforts for the welfare of people less fortunate which is exactly the type of person PassItOn celebrates. We want to honor Lisa’s compassion and hope you will share this hero’s inspiring story. 

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Your Comments
Kenneth from Calgary, Canada MARCH 6, 2022
Awesome ! Thank you for your kindness, Lisa Thomas-McMilan, and Drexell & Honeybee. LOVE for all !!!

What an amazing story. She is definitely an Angel amongst us. Is there some way to send her a donation?

cecilia from Virginia Beach, Va. AUGUST 28, 2020
May the Lord bless these 2 people who help out of the goodness of their hearts. Too few people are seen doing this heartfelt service for those who are is dire straits.........

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