MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink) - A Muncie local came up with a thoughtful and unique way to help families out during the Thanksgiving holiday. 

In 2014, a couple days before Derek Hilbert's next shift at the Fickle Peach, a popular Muncie bar, Hilbert decided to donate all of his tips that night to families in need.

“I decided on a Sunday night that on Tuesday, all of my tips were going to go for what I decided to call, ‘Tips for Turkeys’ being Thanksgiving week. We were going to go out and use that money on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and randomly purchased people’s groceries," he said. 

What started as a mere $250 in tips, has done nothing but grow exponentially in the following years. 

Now, despite not working behind the bar anymore, Hilbert and the Fickle Peach continue to team up each year to host fundraisers for this event. 

These fundraisers often involve raffles, a silent auction, as well as additional donations. 

Hilbert commented on the success, stating, “Throughout the years, the money that we’ve raised has substantially grown. For instance, year one was $250, all-in-all total, we’ve raised $30,000 in six years.” 

The program has helped well over 500 families in the Muncie area put food on their plate for Thanksgiving. 

The events hosted by the Fickle Peach over the years continued to grow, with hundreds of people now attending and donating towards this great cause. 

The most recent event was hosted this last Saturday, raising over $6,000 for families in need. 

This year, Hilbert teamed up with Muncie Outreach as well as the Second Harvest Food Bank, to “help stretch the community dollars further."

Additionally, all of the items are donated by local artists, businesses, and vendors, which also helps advertise themselves.  

“My favorite way to describe this event is that it’s truly Muncie locals, helping Muncie locals help Muncie locals,” Hilbert said.

Although this year’s event has passed, Hilbert stressed that if you want to help, donate to local charities, especially the Second Harvest Food Bank in Muncie, to continue the gift-giving holiday spirit.  

For any comments or concerns about this story, contact the author at ljhellman@bsu.edu