New Yorkers who want to eat a good meal and donate to their favorite charity at the same time can do just that, starting Friday. Queens borough reporter Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
Cole, one of the dogs the Abandoned Angels rescue clinic in Flushing, Queens, is in desperate need of spinal surgery.
"We have over 55 dogs right now, many of whom are elderly, sick and need medical attention," says Abandoned Angels founder Dolores Rodriguez.
Abandoned Angels has rescued over 2,500 dogs since it opened in 2003, but there isn't much money to care for them. Donations have been dwindling in this tough economy.
Now, the nonprofit is hoping a new dining out rewards program called "Eat Your Heart Out NYC" will change that.
From March 23 through April 1, more than 1,000 restaurants, bars and clubs will donate up to 6 percent of the bill to a charity of the customer's choice.
"This is a fabulous fabulous idea to help not only the larger scale charities but the smaller ones such as abandoned angels," says Rodriguez.
Diners who register their charge cards with GoodDining.com can select an organization or school they would like to support from over 100,000 charities. Every time they use that card at a participating business, a portion of the entire bill automatically goes to that charity.
"The more you eat out, the more they get," says GoodDining brand manager Aviva Schick.
GoodDining is a rewards network that helps charities raise money though everyday actions and Veslo is one of the participating Astoria businesses.
"To have a promotion that really benefits more than just the restaurant and just the guests that are coming here for a night to have a good time is a really rewarding feeling," says Veslo manager Nicole Rosini.
Astoria resident D.J. Petrosino often thinks about giving to a charity but says he never gets around to it. This time, it could be different.
"You forget to take the time to donate, so this is something that will be done for you so it's really awesome," says Petrosino.
He is now looking to donate to an animal rescue program, and the people at Abandoned Angels are hoping he will select theirs.