Dine Out for a Great Cause

Florida's hurricane-riddled summer may be over, but thousands of people are still homeless and cleanup work continues in many communities across the state.

Thursday, Floridians are encouraged to eat out as thousands of restaurants are donating their profits to the Florida Disaster Relief Fund.

Daisey and Charles Brock are enjoying some midday BBQ and doughnuts, and they came specifically to donate to the hurricane fund.

Charles says, "It's extremely painless. You get a good meal and you help people out, so what's wrong with that?"

Daisey adds, "I think everybody has family somewhere. If they weren't directly affected, someone they know was."

More than 1,000 restaurants across Florida are donating a chunk, or in some cases all of its Thursday profits to help hurricane victims.

Brian Hoenig from Smokey Bones says, "This is your neighborhood. You have people who live next door who don't have roofs or the money to fix them. It definitely means a lot more. It's just a great opportunity to help out."

Most folks were keenly aware that their salad and sandwich suddenly had a higher calling.

Thomas Brown, who is eating out, says, "I realize the devastation this state has encountered and the pain that many people have gone through, so anything I can do to help out."

Late in the afternoon we even found Florida Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings doing her part, or perhaps "chewing" her part in a booth at Outback.

Jennings says, “If you haven't had dinner yet, gather up your family or come by yourself to one of the participating restaurants in the Tallahassee area and support a terrific cause."

This "Dine Out for Disaster Relief Day" was organized by the Florida Restaurant Association, which coordinated a similar fundraising effort in the wake of 9/11.