After overhearing a child ask his mother how they were going to afford to pay for their holiday meal, Ricky Craig, owner of Houston, Texas' Hubcap Grill, decided to help the family out — then followed up his generous move by offering to give each of his Twitter followers $100 for Thanksgiving food.
His tweet went viral.
"It just went crazy viral worldwide. I had people from the United Kingdom, Australia, trying to contact me online," Craig told the Daily Dot. "I was trying to help my community. It was a last minute decision and when I tweeted it out I didn't think it was going to be that crazy."
His tweet was retweeted more than 400 times. Dozens of phone calls and emails flooded his restaurant.
"When you get emails from people calling out your name, saying, 'Ricky, Ricky, Ricky, please help me, I have nothing,' it made me feel sick to my stomach," Craig said. "My heart just went out to them. I couldn't help all these people out. I didn't realize how bad people's situation are. It really opened up my eyes to a lot of things."
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The generous restauranteur spent $2,000 of his own money to purchase groceries for Thanksgiving dinners — turkeys, carrots, potatoes, corn and pecan pies — for 20 local families, about 80 people in total. He distributed the items, along with helpful cooking tips, at his restaurant on Wednesday afternoon.
He told ABC News that many of the families had never had a traditional Thanksgiving meal before:
"You'd be surprised how a lot of people will contact me back with we never cooked before, we never had Thanksgiving before, we never had a turkey," he said.
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Craig, who plans to launch his own charity to help local families in need, considers himself fortunate to give back:
"And the last thing I want to say is, don't thank me, thank God because God has blessed me with this business and I'm very fortunate and through God and this business I can be able to provide these other families," Craig said.