Tucson, AZ

Free Food! Local Tucson Teachers Receive Free Restaurant Gift Cards

Greyson F

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Tucson teachers have, in many ways, lived in between a rock and a hard place since the beginning of the pandemic. They were some of the first professionals to be forced to pivot from in-person to online work. Of course, there’s a big difference between shifting to online teaching and most other online businesses.

Because most educating is done in person, few teachers had any kind of extended experience with Zoom, video chat services, or how to communicate with more than one or two people online. There simply was never the need to do so. But area children still needed an education, and teachers wanted to do whatever they could to help.

It’s been a difficult year for most Tucson residents, but Tucson teachers have had to shift from in-person learning to online learning and now, for many, back to in-person learning. In-person learning has opened up some parents to returning to work or performing regular tasks they might have done prior to the pandemic, but teachers have had to alter the setup of their classrooms and even adjust their teaching methods in order to keep children safe. They were also some of the first to receive the vaccine in order to make this possible. While most young children are not susceptible to the COVID-19 virus, they can carry the virus, which means if any of the children come from a household with COVID, it would have greatly increased the chance of the teacher catching it.

The community around Tucson has been looking for ways to give back to their teachers in order to show their appreciation for everything they do. And now, Brakemax Care Care Center is looking at helping buy area teachers food from their favorite restaurants with the aid of Tucson restaurant gift cards.

The purchase of these gift cards goes a long way in helping a number of people here in the Tucson community. Not only will the food be enjoyed by hard-working teachers, but the money will go into the pockets of local restaurants, many of which have been struggling themselves to stay open during the pandemic.

According to Inside Tucson Business, Brakemax purchased a total of $24,000 in Tucson restaurant gift cards to give out to local teachers. Some of the restaurants include Pub 1922, Nana’s Kitchen, and Bear Canyon Pizza. Jeffry Gardner, the president of marketing for GB Auto, which is the holding company for Brakemax, said he wanted to donate back to the school while also helping locally-owned restaurants.

It wasn’t just Brakemax that helped make the gift cards possible. Nana’s Kitchen owner Javier Teran added another $5 to every gift card purchased, even though the restaurant itself struggled through the pandemic. Javier said he believes teachers are not paid enough or receive enough compensation, so helping the teachers and their families out was a top priority.

To help distribute the gift cards, Brakemax connected with the Tanque Verde Foundation. Todd Kowalski, the president of the foundation, said he was completely taken aback when it came to the donation. He said that while a number of parents have come out and expressed their appreciation for everything local teachers have done and been through over the past year, it completely caught him, and the foundation, off-guard when a local auto repair shop offered to donate nearly $25,000 worth of restaurant gift cards. He said it shows just how tightly knit the Tucson community is and that, at the root of it all, people just want to see each other succeed.

If you’re interested in giving back to your own student’s teacher you are always able to do so. You can send your own gift card with your child to the school. And even if offering a gift card is not a possibility many teachers appreciate just a simple note. Oftentimes it’s the small token of gratitude that helps when times get tough.

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