Samantha Gangewere, influencer and proprietor of The Orchid Steakhouse, has generously donated substantial funds to two remarkable women, aligning with her commitment to aid those in need during the Christmas season. After sharing her intentions to contribute, the model-turned-chef was overwhelmed by community nominations.
Samantha, 31, announced the beneficiaries of the $2,600 (£2,047) donations on Instagram (@theorchidsteakhouse), stating that selecting just two from the numerous heart-rending stories was challenging, with hopes to assist more people next year.
Lori Haney, one of the recipients, was chosen due to her extraordinary story, involving a family tragedy amidst her battle with breast cancer and a double mastectomy. Samantha noted Lori’s history of community service and expressed her deservingness of the support.
Shea Williams, the second recipient, captivated their hearts as a mother of five and a licensed practical nurse (LPN) fighting stage 3 breast cancer. Currently unable to work and grappling with the challenges of chemotherapy, Shea’s situation struck a chord with Samantha and her community.
Urging prayers for both women, Samantha thanked her supporters for enabling Orchid Steakhouse to contribute to this cause, with aspirations to raise more funds next year.
Samantha, who has amassed two million followers on Instagram (@thatboostedchick), ventured into the restaurant business to realize her dream career. This holiday season, she pledged to donate 50% of the restaurant’s appetiser sales every Tuesday in December to the community.
Inspired by her family’s tradition of charity at Christmas, despite financial constraints, Samantha shared memories of her family’s efforts to make the holiday special. Her grandparents, in particular, were active in community service, participating in meals-on-wheels and contributing to soup kitchens.
For Samantha, Christmas has always been about family rather than gifts, a sentiment that has grown stronger with age.
Together with her husband, Genc Gashi, 26, Samantha felt compelled to make a meaningful impact in their neighborhood, emphasizing that “everyone deserves love.” Reflecting on her hard-earned success, she expressed gratitude and a strong desire to give back during the holiday season.