Sometimes the common good is more important than one’s own place in the world.
A pandemic will do that.
That is why what Jeannie Murphy, owner of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in Baytown, has done for local first responders has resonated during a challenging time.
Murphy has begun donating meals to members of the Baytown and Mont Belvieu police departments, three of the Baytown Fire Stations (ladders 3, 6 and 7), Patients Emergency Room and the emergency staff at Baytown Methodist Hospital.
Murphy began the donation process by matching each dollar donated by the public.
“We are frantically making tacos to take care of the people that are taking care of us,” she said. “This week we have probably donated about $2,000 in tacos.”
Persons who donate toward the cause are recognized on the Fuzzy’s Taco’s Facebook page as a “hero.”
Donations can be made at the store or can be done by calling the store and ring in an order (281-918-0956) that is doubled by the shop.
Debbie and Richard Putnam of Coppell provided the largest donation to date of $300.
“In speaking about the community responses I have to say we are very fortunate to have the support of our community, especially our small business owners,” Police spokesman Steve Dorris said. “Just Tuesday, Rooster’s provided lunch for all of our officers and staff and today the owner of Fuzzy’s Tacos, Jeanie Murphy, and her staff at Fuzzy’s Tacos were kind enough to donate breakfast tacos to our officers. I cannot say enough just how much we appreciate these gestures, especially during this time when many businesses are struggling to keep their doors open. These are two examples of just how awesome our community is and how we all pull together during tough times. On behalf of the men and women of the Baytown Police Department I want to express just how overwhelmed with gratitude we are for these amazing displays of support by two of our local businesses.”
Murphy admits her restaurant, like many others, is struggling during the pandemic as establishments are limited to delivery, takeout and curbside orders.
“The bottom line – if I stay in business or not – is that these people are taking care of us and they should be honored as heroes,” Murphy said. “They are going out there every day talking to people who have this illness. This is about how do we help the community? How do we pay for the people who are helping us?
We are all in trouble, but there are people out there on the front lines touching people and it’s scary.”
Mt. Belvieu police Lt. Steve Ferguson takes his hat off toward Fuzzy’s for the selfless act.
“We certainly appreciate their support,” Ferguson said. “It’s a warm and fuzzy feeling when you know these local businesses themselves are struggling to stay afloat and for them to reach out to us and do something like that for first responders means a lot to us.
“It really gives you a whole new fresh perspective for humanity.”
Baytown’s police department is equally touched by Murphy’s purpose.
“They delivered the tacos and our patrol shift was able to enjoy them for breakfast: They were great,” BPD Sgt. Aaron Crowell said. “It’s great when people go out of their way to recognize the work our officers do.
“There is a certainly a level of stress and uncertainty you deal with this virus because you don’t know where it’s going to come from. So, anytime we have folks willing to stand behind us, that goes a long way to alleviating that stress and makes us feel better. We have members of the community out there still doing their jobs and that’s a lot for them to do. Law enforcement? We realize we can be in danger as a part of our job. The normal citizen? They don’t expect to have that same level of risk as we do, yet they continue to do their job … and willing to work and try to keep things going? That’s awesome. We are all in this together.”
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. all week.