RIGBY — A local tattoo stop wants residents to know its not just about ink and piercings, but also serving the community.
Normally during the holidays, Inks Annonymous Tattoo adopts a family in need to help bring them Christmas. But this past year, the business decided that instead of doing what other organizations already do, they wanted to do something different for children and families. They decided they could do that by selling raffle tickets and using the funds to pay Jefferson School District lunch debts.
“We set forth to start it, but it was a community endeavor to make the process happen,” Inks Annonymous Tattoo Owner Kent Parrell said.
The contest ran throughout December and raffle tickets were $5 a piece or six for $20. Inks Annonymous raffled off three, three-hour tattoo sessions, a $50 shop gift card and Impaler Body Modification, a business inside the tattoo shop, donated three sets of piercings.
At the time of the giveaway, Parrell said he wasn’t sure what schools they would give the funds to, but he felt like somebody would benefit from them.
“I didn’t even know what the lunch debt was (in Jefferson School District),” Parrell said. “I was just like, ‘If our community doesn’t need it then we’ll go outside of Jefferson County and take it to a couple schools that might need it.'”
Parrell called the Jefferson School District Food Service Supervisor Debbie Timm on Monday to find out the average lunch debt. He was informed that elementary school debts are “pretty high.”
Parrell told Timm they raised $1200 with the community’s help and would like to put that towards elementary debts.
“They deserve a huge thank you,” Timm said.
Checks were delivered to Timm on Tuesday. The funds paid one school’s entire $300 lunch debt and two other schools received $450 each to lessen their costs in the hole.
“They made a nice dent in it,” Timm said.
Parrell and his employee Jake Rowe took money from tattoos they recently did and used it to pay another elementary’s schools $50 debt.
On top of that, a Rigby business — that wants to remain anonymous — saw Inks Annonymous Facebook post about the checks they delivered to Timm, and they donated $300 cash.
“It’s awesome to show families that people in the community care about them and the struggles that they’re having,” Timm said.
Parrell didn’t realize that school lunch debt is an issue until now. He said initially he thought there might be a balance leftover for the kids in need of lunches, but that wasn’t the case.
“We came back to the shop and we’re like, ‘Maybe we should do another one (raffle) to try to offset it,'” Parrell said.
That’s exactly what they plan to do in the near future with more local businesses involved.
“We can’t thank you guys (who donated) enough for helping the school district and helping us to help families and kids make sure they have food while they’re in school,” Parrell said.