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Today was Day 1 of our Olive Garden Family Yard Sale benefiting the family of Baby Hendrix. Setting out the donated items was like a treasure hunt, as things had come from many people and places. The weather cooperated completely, as it was gloriously sunny, but not hot. Friends and customers stopped by 3945 West Judy, Visalia, all day long. One couple drove up and read our sign explaining that we were raising money to help the family in their time of grief after Hendrix’s death. The lady called out her window, “We will be back with some things for sale.” And, sure enough, her husband showed up with his truck an hour or so later, bringing a lovely little table and a variety of other goodies for us. None of us knew this couple, and they didn’t know Baby Hendrix’s family. But they were touched by the circumstances and wanted to share with the family.

We were also honored by a visit from Hendrix’s grandparents, who came to tell us “thank you” on behalf of their family. Speaking to his grandmother was so heartbreaking; my brain just cannot wrap itself around the reality of such grief. She was so gracious and so thankful. We tried to explain how much we care about her daughter; words are insufficient in many directions here. One of Olive Garden Restaurant’s slogans is “When you’re here, you’re family!” The truth of that has never been more evident to me than today, as kitchen crew, servers, and hosts gathered throughout the day to help our friend and colleague. We will be back again tomorrow morning, with more goodies for sale. If you are in the neighborhood, stop on by. There are bargains galore, and all for a very good cause.

Hug your loved ones tight tonight; who knows when you will have the opportunity again.

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