INDIANAPOLIS — Tuesday’s lunch time meal service at Wheeler Mission started with a special announcement.
“You’re getting Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch today,” announced Chef Sam Brown, director of food services at Wheeler Mission.
The gentlemen from the men’s shelter erupted into applause and cheers.
“To be honest with you, I was kinda shocked,” one gentleman, who wanted to protect his name, told 13News. “Being that we’re in a homeless shelter, people look down on us because we’re homeless. As long as we get people from outside showing that they care about us, it tells us something different.”
The individuals who care are Carmel residents Bob and Dr. Laura Dugan. The couple said they love Buffalo Wild Wings and go almost every day, especially to watch sports.
“We’ve been collecting points with purchases for over two years,” said Dr. Dugan. “And this guy (pointing to her husband) came up with the idea that we should give back and do something with these points. So, we started there, talked to Buffalo Wild Wings, and they were on board. I asked for help from my group at Northwest Radiology to coordinate, they brought in Wheeler Mission, so it’s just a joint effort,” Dr. Dugan said.
She said that an employee at Buffalo Wild Wings, who had been a part of coordinating the logistics, left his job at the restaurant recently but still wanted to be a part of giving back. He currently is employed at Los Arroyos, so he was able to get that restaurant to donate some food in addition to the food from Buffalo Wild Wings.
The Dugans had saved up more than 200,000 points in about two-and-a-half years.
“It’s something everybody should do, we should all give back,” a gentleman told 13News while enjoying a plate. Another gentleman said he used to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings all the time in the past, and that the food tasted “great.”
Wheeler Mission said they expect to feed more than 200 people total between their men’s shelter and their shelter for women and children.
"Here at Wheeler Mission, at meal service time, we will feed whoever shows up, and we won't close down 'til we get ‘em all,” Brown said.
The Dugans said giving back doesn’t have to be reserved for the holidays.
“Anytime. We would have done it sooner, it just took a while to get coordinated,” Dr. Dugan said.
The Dugans came up with the idea of donating their points last year.
“It was right when the pandemic hit, and the shutdown started and doors closed, and we said, 'We gotta do something,'” Bob said. “'We gotta make people happy and do something good for the community.'”
“And then of course, you had to wait 'til we could have a number of people together because of COVID-19, a lot of times you couldn’t,” Dr. Dugan said. "We encourage people to give back whenever. Even if it’s just purchasing a gift card or buying the person behind you lunch.”
“It’s so easy to help your fellow man, you know, your fellow neighbor,” added Bob.
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