Moe Joe’s in Plainfield, Illinois raises $13,000 for blind chef Charlie Doman who lacks electronic glasses

PLAINFIELD, Ill. – Charlie Doman, chef and manager at Moe Joe’s in Plainfield, Illinois, has a huge fan base. His boss, Jamie Littell, is perhaps his biggest fan of them all.”Chief Charlie is the most inspiring human on Earth in my book,” said Littell, owner of Moe Joe’s. “Nothing brings this man down.”

About four years ago, Doman was declared legally blind after suffering two strokes within a few months.

“It was terrifying,” Doman said. “I had to relearn everything. Showering, using the toilet, walking.”

Fearing that his cooking career was over, Doman consulted his executive chef, Ryan Gramit, who encouraged him to try different stations in the kitchen. Four years later, Doman can do any kitchen-related job and is now a manager at Moe Joe’s.

“We never thought he didn’t work here,” Littell said. “I was like ‘we’re going to have the recipes in Braille’, you know?!”

Although he is legally blind, Doman has a very narrow field of vision. He wears IrisVision electronic glasses to help improve what little sight he has left so he can read purchase orders and recipes. But at an event at the restaurant in April this year, those glasses went missing.

“We checked all the cameras and everything,” Doman said. “Several people looked at the video system and it just, like, disappeared.”

Doman and Littell theorize that the glasses were stolen because they look like virtual reality goggles. Unwilling to accept Littell’s offer to buy him new glasses, Doman instead wanted to try fundraising.

“We came up with the idea for the pie, Executive Chef Ryan and myself,” Littell said. “And it rhymed with ‘eyes’, ‘Pies For Eyes’.”

The Moe Joe’s team baked around 350 key lime pies and sold them to raise money to replace the missing glasses. In two days, they racked up over $13,000 in donations, which helped buy Doman’s pair and two additional pairs for visually impaired children. They also visited 16 different hospitals, fire stations and police stations with 100 additional pies that were purchased by people who were unable to collect them.

“The thing about this town is they don’t let you down and if you ask for help, they help you,” Littell said. “Everyone gathers here.”

Littell said that after IrisVision heard about the fundraiser, they offered a discount on the glasses, allowing Doman to donate three pairs in total. It only remains for him to determine who will be the lucky beneficiaries.

“[Charlie] keep going, persevering and taking everyone with him,” Littell said.

For more information about Moe Joe’s, visit eatmoejoes.com

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