Goodness Report, News

David Pyle and Family Have Given Away $450,000 in Visa Gift Cards to Struggling Retail and Restaurant Workers

April 24, 2020
Source:The Orange County Register

While laid-off and furloughed restaurant workers affected by the coronavirus crisis waited for their unemployment checks, one local family provided immediate relief, distributing $450,000 with plans to give away more.

Members of the Pyle family have handed out Visa gift cards valued at $1,000 each to workers in need at Plums Cafe in Costa Mesa; A Restaurant, and A Market as well as Sapori Ristorante in Newport Beach, and CdM Restaurant in Corona del Mar.

On Friday, April 17, family members visited Avila’s El Ranchito Mexican Restaurant on Balboa Peninsula.

The patriarch of the family is David A. Pyle, of Newport Beach. He’s the son of television and film actor Denver Pyle and the founder of American Career College and West Coast University, with campuses in LA, Orange and San Bernardino counties, as well as Miami and Dallas.

The whole family is on board, including his children Henry, Mary Lynn, Annie and Willis Pyle.

Annie Pyle, 25, of San Francisco, and Henry Pyle, 30, of Santa Monica, who added that his wife Chanel is helping too, said it’s a project of the OneRoot Foundation, founded by their family as a “philanthropy established in education and fortified in the calling of service and support.”

“We’re in incredibly, unprecedented times and challenging times for a lot of folks, especially those people that are in the retail and restaurants. And so we just wanted to support those establishments that we’ve enjoyed,” said Henry Pyle. “For my dad, he’s been going to El Ranchito for 40 years.”

OneRoot has also reached out to help employees of BYLT Clothing, the Hydrant Pet Hotel and MoonGoat Coffee Roasters in Costa Mesa.

“It breaks our heart,” said Annie Pyle. “Those people have fed us for our whole lives and welcomed us at every moment of our lives and they are just long-running establishments in our community and we don’t want to see those away.”

The grand gesture is very much appreciated. Not just by the workers but by the restaurateurs worried about their employees, some of whom are close to homelessness, said Kim Jorgenson, owner of Plums Cafe for 30 years. She made it through 9/11 but was forced to lay off employees for the first time in March, calling it brutal and one of the most difficult things she’s ever done. When she got word that help was on the way, she broke down and cried.

“It’s not just being an angel,” she said of the Pyle family’s good deeds. “It’s that we all have choices about how we conduct ourselves during challenging times and when people do things like this it’s more from a place of love, it really is …it’s unadulterated love and it’s wonderful.”

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