Big Orange Burger is celebrating the loving month of February by giving back to a very important cause, Lucie's Place. After Katherine Johnson, an employee at Big Orange, ended her life earlier this year, Big Orange's owners decided to bring attention to a cause that is helping other young adults in her situation make a different choice.
LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer) youth are more than four times likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.
These kids often don't have family support, community support or even friends that support them. Partially because of the loss of family support, twenty to forty percent of the homeless population identifies as LGBTQ. Sadly, many local shelters do not provide facilities to openly LGBTQ youth. These kids have to hide their identity, or they won't receive help. They often feel like they don't fit in anywhere, and sometimes coming out is met with abuse or assault. For example, The National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that 22 percent of those transgender people who had attempted to access shelters reported being sexually assaulted by either another person in the shelter or by shelter staff.
Lucie’s Place is the only program currently addressing the specific needs of homeless LGBTQ youth in Arkansas. Lucie’s Place assists homeless LGBT young adults (aged 18-25) with bus passes, cell phones & minutes, toiletries, counseling and referrals to other programs.
In addition to these measurable services, Lucie’s Place also acts as a support network for homeless LGBTQ young adults.
The ultimate goal of the board of Lucie's Place is to open a long-term transitional shelter in the Central Arkansas area, which will be open specifically to LGBTQ identified young adults.
This underserved area is in need a shelter where they can feel safe, get on their feet and receive assistance. That's where Big Orange (and you) come in.
During the month of February, $3 from every signature shake you buy will be donated to Lucie's Place. The signature shake is a monstrously delicious shake. It's a slice of rainbow cake, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and sprinkles. It's more of a cake a la mode than a traditional shake, so you'll have to get your spoon. However you have to eat it, eat it and enjoy it. Just ask for the Lucie's Shake or the signature shake or "that one with the rainbow cake." They'll know what you mean.
Lucie's Place has started a funding effort to raise $80,000 for their transitional shelter. Shakes alone won't bring that (even though I could probably eat $80,000 worth of Big Orange shakes), but shining a spot on this organization will help them reach their goal. These teens are just kids and deserve a place to feel welcome, loved and wanted. Give a few dollars if you can. Both locations are offering the Lucie's Shake. Big Orange is located at Midtowne Little Rock (207 N University Ave) and at the Promenade At Chenal (17809 Chenal Pkwy).
The Big Orange menu features many unique burger options like their white truffle pecorino burger and my personal favorite, the atom bomb. The menu also features a few salads, hand cut fries and freshly made chips, a pretty solid pimento cheese tray and a few more appetizer options. If you're not a fan of burgers or salad, the pickens are pretty slim. They offer an excellent veggie burger and a pretty good turkey burger, which you can sub for a hamburger in any of the burgers. Big Orange usually features a specialty shake of the moment (this month is Lucie's Shake) and a selection of traditional favorites: vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, peanut butter and chocolate and even a nutella shake. You can also get a float. They also usually feature some kind of pie or cake. They have one of the best burgers in the city, and their sweet potato waffle fries are also can't miss.
The Chenal and Midtowne locations feature the same menu and same great service.