May 2022 Silent Hero of the Wiregrass: Hibachi Joe
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The hiss of rice and teriyaki chicken on the grill is synonymous with a Dothan staple tucked away on the north side of town.
Hibachi Joe’s is not your average restaurant, because Joe is no average man. He’s someone the community associates not only with good food but with good deeds.
“How would I give back? How would I go around and do for others?” says Joe, “I’m praying about it, then COVID hit and I started to do more for charity.”
Charity includes traveling not just around the Wiregrass, but to places where tragedy has struck, like hurricane disaster areas, where people have suddenly lost possessions, their homes, and sometimes even loved ones.
A story that Joe, a survivor of the Cambodian Genocide, is all too familiar with.
“When I was in a refugee camp I was always starving. There’s no food, always killings. Sickness, disease…I remember international people came, they brought some bowls of food,” Joe recalls, “I remember that food, a little food means a lot. "
Joe knows the power of food, and even the smallest gesture can bring a glimmer of hope in the darkest of times.
His Facebook page “Joe Cook Fan” has nearly 25,000 followers who are often all too eager to help him give back.
“Sometimes people reach out to me ‘Hey Joe! what do you need?” Joe explains “God will provide whatever I need. If there is something I can do then I’m gonna pray about it I’m gonna go out and do it for our community.”
By bringing a new meaning to the phrase “service with a smile” Joe hopes his message of kindness feeds not only the body but the soul.
“This is my dream,” Joe says “it’s all I ever wanted.
Joe is currently working on a mission trip to Uvalde, Texas to cook for those affected by the tragic mass shooting that took place there earlier this week. If you’d like to help, you can visit his Facebook page.
Copyright 2022 WTVY. All rights reserved.
Subscribe to our News 4 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning. Get instant notifications on top stories from News 4 by downloading our mobile apps.