When Thomas Green put in his application at Abbott’s Grill in Milford, DE one year ago, he was homeless, hungry and had seen better days. As his positive attitude and good intentions turned into tenacity and reliability over the first six months, owners Kevin Reading and Laura Burton knew they made the right choice. One year later, Green is grateful and humbled by his experience and ready to continue his success with the company and in his personal life.
Green, class of 1985 at Milford High School, was raised in Milton, DE. As a teenager, a fire in his home forced his family to move to Milford as he was met with adversity for the first of many times early in life. Again just one year ago, while living in Cheswold, DE, the house Green was living in caught on fire and this time Green almost lost his life. The uncertainty of where he was going to live and what he was going to do now that all of his possessions were lost in the fire left him with little hope of ever changing his life.
“I told Kevin and Laura about my situation and they gave me a chance just as I was about to give up,” said Green. “I was humbled by the fact that in one year I almost lost my life and became homeless and now I have a good job, I am the house DJ and getting my life on track.”
One constant throughout Green’s life has been music. Green has traveled the region as a disc jockey earning money from performing at barbecues, weddings and studio recordings. As a dishwasher at Abbott’s, he knew he wanted an opportunity to perform but continued to work in the kitchen to show his dedication before he asked the owners for another chance.
“I really wanted to become a DJ at Abbott’s and I wanted to tell Kevin. I knew if I showed him I was a hard worker I could make it happen,” said Green. Seeing his enthusiasm and desire to be the house DJ in addition to his duties as dish washer and helping with prep work, Reading and Burton decided to give Green another opportunity for success. Since Green had lost all of his equipment in the Cheswold fire, the owners offered to buy Green’s equipment as an investment that Green would pay back over time.
“I have met a lot of people over the years and I am always optimistic but skeptical with every relationship,” said Reading. “Overtime, Thomas did exactly what he said he was going to do and did whatever it took to achieve it. He is one of those people that through hard work, he earns a lot of respect and you want to do anything for him.”
Green’s next goal is to save enough money to be able to rent or own his own home without having to live among many families as he always has in the past. Whether a teenager or today at 50 years old, the living conditions of the properties he has lived in have always been crowded, dilapidated and unhealthy. He wants a place that he can call his own. “I just want a place that my kids can come visit that is ours, that they can feel safe and we can have fun,” said Green.
DJ Thomas Green performs on Thursday nights at Abbott’s Grill starting at 8pm playing “old town classic” and R&B. On Thursday nights, Abbott’s Grill also offers gourmet tacos, 3 for $10 and drink specials. For more information on special events, menus and entertainment at Abbott’s Grill, individuals are encouraged to visit www.abbottsgrillde.com. Abbott’s Grill is located at 249 NE Front Street in downtown Milford and can be reached by calling 302-491-6736.
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