Venmo Challenge: Racine man collects donations for struggling small businesses

A Racine man is collecting donations for struggling small businesses. He then compiles the donations to surprise the businesses with a large gift. 

 "We’re humble people, we’re hard-working, we’re not looking for handouts," said Corey Oakland, owner and operator of Red Onion Cafe. 

The man with the money, Stan Anderson, collected it from donations within the Racine community. Anderson is calling it the Racine Venmo Challenge, a popular money transferring app. 

"I don’t want to lose any of these people in the community," said Stan Anderson, Creator of Racine Venmo Challenge. 

Donating to this challenge can be done anywhere because you do it right on your cellphone. You click on the Venmo app, you look up the username @marypanderson, you make your donation, and then you hit pay. 

"Now every time that ‘cha-ching’ sound goes off on my wife’s phone for a Venmo, I’m like *looks around* and she’s like ‘C’mon Stan.’ But that’s how motivated I am to see what we can do for people," said Anderson. 

The donation to Corey and the Red Onion Cafe was extra special though, as Johnson Financial and Johnson Outdoors, neighbors to the restaurant, matched the donations for a grand total of $7,500.

"It’s just, it’s mixed emotions. It’s that definite mix of appreciation and humility," said Oakland. 

The money is going towards the staff who have kept the Red Onion Cafe running during the pandemic. 

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"These people have been with us every day with the masks on, working in a kitchen, which is not the easiest thing," said Oakland. 

Red Onion Cafe makes the 14th restaurant Stan has surprised with a donation. So far, the Racine Venmo Challenge has raised over $30,000. 

"We’re gonna do it again, and we’re gonna do it again and we have a $100,000 goal," said Anderson. 

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