Tattoo parlor raises over $8K to pay student lunch debt

Workers at a tattoo shop in Georgia may look tough on the outside, but the staff at Second Skin Tattoo proved themselves to be big old softies when they decided to help pay off a school district’s lunch debt.

Charles Platt, a tattoo artist at Second Skin Tattoo in St. Mary, Georgia, told Action News Jax that the business is successful because of the community, so staff at the shop are mindful of giving back when they can.

“We’re kind of sweethearts,” Platt said. “We all like to give back and, yeah, we like what we do. We all look rough or whatever, but we’re all just people, too.”

After speaking with his fiancée and his mother, who are both teachers, Platt came up with the idea to help fill the gap in the school district’s lunch debt.

On Sept. 6, Second Skin Tattoo shared on their Facebook page that they would be holding a fundraiser to help pay off overdue lunch accounts at Camden County Schools and asked members of the community to come out and get inked, promising that half of the proceeds would go to the district. On Sept. 10, the shop released the preselected tattoos that would be available, ranging from $30 to $60.

On Sept. 13, more than 200 people arrived at the parlor, and the line was out the door. Together, the staff inked 350 tattoos, working from 10 a.m. until past midnight, according to a post on Camden County Schools' Facebook. Their goal was to raise $5,000; instead, they raised $7,100. On top of that, Bennett Chevrolet and Dodge donated $1,000 to the cause, bringing the grand total to $8,100.

“When we raised $8,100 it was really just... I was just blown away,” Platt told the station.

The money will be used to pay off the lunch charges that students have incurred, and help replenish the district's emergency fund.

“This means they still get to eat,” Michele Wright, director of school nutrition for Camden County Schools, said. “In addition to that, they still get to look like all of their friends, going to the lunch line with their full tray.”

According to Wright, the district has already spent $2,000 of the emergency fund since the first day of school, Aug. 2.

While the school district does provide free or reduced-price lunch for students who meet federal guidelines for funding, which includes 49 percent of the district, some students still need help paying for their meals.

“Even with our best efforts, children come to school — it might’ve been an oversight, mom didn’t write the check or someone forgot their lunch at home — but there’s always going to be a small number of students who come through every day with no lunch or no lunch money,” Wright said.

On Oct. 9, Second Skin Tattoo will present the check to the school board, but they're hopeful they can continue to raise money and hit their new goal of $10,000.

Contributions can be sent to Second Skin located at 1715 Osborne Road, Suite F, St. Marys, Ga., 31558; they can also be reached on their Facebook page.

"We are overwhelmed by the generosity of these amazing artists and our whole community," the statement shared on Camden County Schools' Facebook read. "The incredibly generous donation from Secondskin tattoo will go a long way towards our goal of providing a healthy, nutritious lunch for every child."

Representatives for Camden County Schools and Charles Platt did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.

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