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Spirit of Acadiana: Spirit of Christmas Giving

Posted at 10:55 AM, Dec 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 13:12:52-05

I'm often asked, "What is Spirit of Acadiana really all about?" My answer is, it's good people, doing good stuff.

Those two came together perfectly recently at Lafayette's Bon Temps Grill.

"It was going to be like a normal day," said waitress Allison Blessman. "I was going to come to work, have my tables, do my side work, and leave."

And when Blessman saw customer Blaine Barrilleaux sit down - for supposedly the shooting of a commercial - she didn't really think twice about it.

"Be polite, be friendly, be professional...take his order."

In other words, be the great employee she's always been.

"We've been very impressed with her work ethic, how hard she works even though things are challenging in the world today. She's always smiling and working through it all, and that means a lot to us," said Steven O'Bryan, owner of Bon Temps Grill.

Barrilleaux ordered gumbo. The gumbo was delicious. Then it came time for the local attorney to pay his bill.

When Allison brought his ticket, he gave her a card, "with a bunch of money in it. He told me, 'Merry Christmas.'"

And the card from Barrilleaux told the story.

"It says, 'We're not really here for our commercial shoot. Today is about you,'" Allison reads. "'We hear you are a wonderful person, a fantastic worker, and a great mom, so we would like to do something nice for you. Merry Christmas.'"

The reaction was priceless.

"I cried. It made me feel so good. I did."

And the motivation of our most generous donor? Even better.....

"Just seeing the joy that she had, how much she appreciated it. You never know if someone is really in need or is having a tough time; hopefully this will help her. Hopefully she can use it for Christmas."

"Oh, I've gotta catch up on a bill...behind on my rent, and then Christmas presents. I've got three boys," Allison said.

And the moral of our Christmas season Spirit of Acadiana spirit of giving story? That there are indeed good people out there, helping other good people.

"Tis the season. The holiday season. Everyone should be at their best. Pay it forward. Do things for other people."

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