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Former homeless shelter patron turned cook pays it forward with Peppinos sandwich fundraiser

Miguel, a Peppinos employee, holding his sandwich "Miguel's Sub"
Degage Ministries
Former homeless shelter patron turned cook donates back to organization with Peppinos sandwich fundraiser

If 200 of the sandwiches are sold this week, Miguel M. said he'll donate his check to Degage Ministries for two months.

A Grand Rapids cook is working to give back to the homeless shelter that helped get him back on his feet five years ago. He and his employer are holding a sandwich fundraiser initiative at Peppino’s Pizzeria and Sports Grille.

Miguel M., who prefers not to share his last name publically, is a fan-favorite among his Peppino's coworkers in the kitchen.

"We brought Miguel in here to be a part of our team recently, and he’s just kind of blown us away," Manager Chris Cutting said.

In light of Miguel's great work ethic, the kitchen staff wanted to do something to celebrate Miguel at the restaurant, so when he told them he'd like to create a sandwich fundraiser for his friends at Degage Ministries, everyone quickly hopped on board.

"Miguel's Sub" will be available all-week long, with the special ending this Sunday. Miguel said if the restaurant can sell 200 of the subs by the end of the week, he's pledging to donate his check for the next two months to Degage Ministries. The sandwich is priced at $13. It's topped with turkey, ham, mayo, mozzarella, banana peppers, green peppers, red onion, lettuce, tomato and garlic butter.

"I know some people over there aren't doing so good, and I want to help. I like to help people," Miguel told WGVU news.

Just about five years ago, Miguel was one of the patrons getting assistance from the homeless shelter. He said now he wants to pay that kindness forward.

"I needed a little bit of help and Degage helped me, so now that I’m doing good I want to help back Degage and trying to help Peppino’s too because he opened the door for me," he explained.

Peppino’s is pitching in as well, offering a pizza party for Degage patrons with many of the kitchen staff pitching their own financial donations.

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