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Making A Difference: Venmo challenge helps long-standing chef at Knoxville store

Instagrammer Ashley Youngs started her own “Venmo challenge” to help a deserving server. People sent her lots of small donations- mostly $5 or $10.
Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 6:25 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - For 43 years, Ruth Pate has been serving burgers and smiles at Long’s Drug Store.

“I love what I do. I try not to give anybody anything I wouldn’t want to eat myself,” said Pate.

The joy she gets here helps sustain her through the hard times. Her husband Bill was battling stomach cancer. He was in remission, but four months ago cancer came back.

“I go to all of the chemo treatments with him still. I don’t want him to take his own self. I had to miss a lot of work and stuff, but he’s my priority,” said Pate.

She couldn’t have imagined the blessing coming her way.

Ashley Youngs lives in Knoxville. She was inspired to start her own “Venmo challenge” to help. People sent in small donations- mostly $5 or $10.

“It was really a community that came together. Not just one person and it was amazing,” said Youngs.

Donors suggested she should give the money to Ruth.

“My mom is a cancer survivor and Ruth’s husband is battling his cancer. In addition to her having reduced hours due to COVID and with 2020 doing what it did to the restaurant industry, it just broke my heart,” said Youngs.

They raised $1,500. Pate says she is so grateful for everyone who donated.

“It was just a blessing. I’m still really blessed, and I’m just blessed to still have him,” said Pate.

The sign outside of Long’s reads “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

It may have been a difficult year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show a little kindness.

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