Giving a little something back...
When Bitton opened 10 years ago I promised myself I would always give back to the community that supported me from the beginning. Many of our local customers have frequented the Cafe almost daily, keeping my business up and supporting me. In return, I strive to find ways to give back, or at least, to balance my karma.
Although I am not a religious man, I am strongly spiritual, and believe that the story of the good Samaritan can be used by anyone in life, as the parable really is questioning ‘who is one’s neighbour?’ The answer is, the person who helps you – regardless of their race or religious views. The conclusion to the story is: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ which is exactly how I try to see things.
I often think about the future and what it would be like to be a senior citizen and have no family around and no support. It was from this fear that the decision came to help the wiser more experienced people of our community. As a result, four times a week at the Cafe, elder more refined customers eat lunch with us, complimentary. I feel this is a fantastic way to show our appreciation and I hope that when I am grey(er!) and old (er) someone will do the same for me.
Currently here at Bitton we sponsor several charities to which we donate money to on a regular basis. Local schools, kindergartens, and day care centres close by are our main focus to help and support.. Since day one our Christmas appeal has been raising money and collecting clothes and toys for Barnardo’s, which will be the same this year.
There is one problem with wanting to give and that is trying to determine when to stop giving. How do you chose just one charity? How do you say no to a charity that comes asking for money for a cause that breaks your heart? At present every week, at least five to six businesses, customers, locals, ask us to sponsor them in some way and I would love to help them all, but at some point I also have to remember that I am running a business.
I find this an incredibly difficult aspect of business to balance particularly when, to me, it is so important that my company gives back. I see it as finding a balance and it is this that I am constantly trying to achieve. The community and neighbours around my Cafe are my world and I truly aim to support them as much as I can.