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Lydia’s Story

My name is Lydia. The North Stands is a movement I started with local chefs David Fhima, Justin Sutherland, and other industry leaders to raise funds and provide support to Minnesota’s hospitality industry employees who are incurring major hardships as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

I started this movement to support Minnesota’s hospitality workers when I heard my best friend was losing her job after bars and restaurants were ordered to close. Having worked in the wine and restaurant industry for years, I immediately understood how much COVID-19 would damage people’s lives, and decided to take action. I set up a plan with my dad and his company, Northbound Creative, to create stickers people could buy to show solidarity with their community members. 

After we had the initial plan in place, I reached out to Elijah Fhima, because I saw all of the work that the Fhima’s was doing to give back to their community. They were donating their time, their food, and their resources to help people in their time of need. I knew that our combined efforts would be just the ticket. 

Shortly after, Chef David Fhima reached out to his good friend Chef Justin Sutherland whose involvement in the community and hospitality is well known, as well as Tony Sanneh, from The Sanneh Foundation, a nonprofit leader with decades of experience in community support on both the international and local level. Together, with The Sanneh Foundation as our nonprofit partner, we launched The North Stands.

One hundred percent of the profits from the 3″ x 4″ The North Stands sticker will be donated to The Sanneh Foundation, and 100 percent of those funds will go toward supporting individuals who work in Minnesota’s hospitality industry with small stipends to help alleviate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.