Good People Doing Good Things — Seeing A Need And Acting

I’m just featuring two ‘good people’ today, for my time and energy are low, but these two people saw a need and rose to the challenge to fill that need.  I think you’ll love them both!

We will feed you!

Classic American diners make money serving up hearty meals for a fair price, but one East Bay establishment has built its business giving away food for free.

It all started a few years ago when Collin Doran, owner of the Homemade Cafe in southwest Berkeley, decided to do something rather unusual in the restaurant business: offer anyone who is hungry a free breakfast, no questions asked.

“We would have people who would come by and they would usually panhandle or ask customers for extra food and my reaction was: ‘Hey, if you guys are hungry or in need of food, we will feed you,'” Doran said.

When the pandemic hit and food insecurity exploded, the need grew so much that Doran decided to make his unusual policy official, calling it the “Everybody Eats Program.”

“The typical Everybody Eats meal is a basic two-eggs breakfast: two eggs cooked however the customer likes it. You get a side of our delicious home fries and toast,” he said.

To qualify, one merely needs to grab a coupon from the diner bulletin board and find a seat. The only payment required is a thank you.

Samantha Akens, a neighborhood resident, has been relying on food assistance programs to get by. Being able to eat at the cafe free of charge is a godsend.

“I have to budget,” she said. “I have to find the people that can help out with little things financially and this is obviously a program that helps. Isn’t that amazing?” 

Paying customers can help by adding $5 to their bill, something many of his regulars, like Suzanne Skrivanich, are more than happy to do. “That just touches me in my heart,” she said. “I truly believe it’s part of human respect.” 

Duran’s program has become so popular, he’s now giving away about 200 meals a month.

“There was a small concern in the back of my mind that, if it got well known, it would be difficult to deal with a high volume of meals or keep up with everything,” he said. “But, I figured, if I’m going to get myself into trouble I’m going to get into good trouble.” 

Not only did he not get into “good trouble” but his business grew by 15 percent — a significant increase for any restaurant.

“Customers have reacted positively,” he said. “They’re contributing and helping us and, even if they don’t always contribute, they like the fact that we do it and they choose to come here more often.”

Now he hopes other businesses will follow suit.

“Doing it in a way that is socially responsible and trying to make the world a little better place,” he said.

Just go and do it!

Hana Fatima’s small pandemic gesture snowballed into a volunteer delivery network called the Good Neighbour Project.

While shopping with her father at an Ontario grocery store in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fatima noticed an elderly woman in the check-out line struggling with her groceries. She and her father offered to help carry her purchases to her car, and she had an idea to help others.

Fatima and her father shared their number with a few elderly neighbors. The idea was that those who needed help could provide them with a list of items that they would purchase so those most at risk didn’t have to be exposed to the virus in crowded stores.

They shared the idea with a few friends, and her father started a Facebook group to coordinate with others who wanted to help. Word spread, and within hours there were hundreds of people volunteering to do the same thing in their communities.

More than a year later, the project — called the Good Neighbour Project — has 6,000 volunteers who speak more than 30 languages with chapters in Toronto, London, and Ottawa.

Those who need assistance accessing groceries, essential supplies, and medication are connected via the Good Neighbour Hotline with a person who is able to purchase and deliver the items. The person making the request pays only for the cost of the groceries — delivery is free.

Since launching, the group has made more than 9,000 deliveries for vulnerable people including seniors, people with special needs, people who are pregnant, single parents, and others.

“When I saw the elderly person, I thought that was my opportunity to go and help somebody,” Fatima said. “Because whenever you get a chance to be helpful and kind, just go and do it without thinking about it. Everybody should do that. You see an opportunity? Somebody needs help? Just go and do it.”

22 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — Seeing A Need And Acting

  1. I am not surprised this post made you feel better. We need to surround ourselves with positive and good things and thoughts, vibrate in that energy, and affect others with our ripples. Wonderful post that truly shows how much love there is around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, my friend … while we definitely need to remember that there is good in this world, from my perspective we cannot simply surround ourselves with positive and tune out the negative. The negative can quickly devour us if we are unaware. Think Germany in 1933 … But yes, there are good people out there, always have been and always will be, and we need to remind ourselves of that from time to time … and try to BE one of those good people whenever the opportunity presents itself!

      Liked by 1 person

      • We are surrounded by “life”, and whatever life is. First and foremost it is in the way we look at whatever happens… huge box that opens with that matter. It is about what we think about what happens. It is about looking for solutions or digging deeper into the problem. And that is what I actually meant. Einstein already said, “you cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that created it.”
        When we surround ourselves with people who fuel hatred and fear, we will sink deeper into that. When we surround ourselves with people who stand with both feet on the ground, give us strength and encouragement, then we will deal so much better with whatever negative happens. I hope that explains it all better.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. These stories made my day, Jill! There are such beautiful people in the world, who are positively impacting the lives of others! Thank you for sharing these and other postings you do on “Good People Doing Good Things”! It’s really important that people know how much good there is, and the many ways in which individuals are (often silently or invisibly) changing the world! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      • WordPress has been playing games of late, making us sign on, even when we’re already signed on, else logging us in as “Anonymous”. No worries, once I saw this comment, I knew who wrote the prior one!

        Liked by 1 person

    • It always helps to see the “other side” of humanity, doesn’t it? I write about all the bad guys all week, but come Wednesday morning, it’s time to tune them out and focus on those who I believe are in the majority, those who are doing more good than harm, who CARE about others. And by the time I finish researching and writing my ‘good people’ post, I usually end up with a smile on my face. I’m so glad you enjoyed the ‘good people’ this week, Anita!


    • Indeed, sometimes it doesn’t even take much! Heck, I would gladly hand over an extra $5 when I eat out if I knew it meant somebody would get a meal who might not otherwise have one!


  3. Jill, I love these stories, especially the Homemade Cafe. Feeding people for free based on other patrons’ added donations is a terrific idea. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love the Cafe, too. It reminds me of World Central Kitchen and Chef Andres: it’s feeding people, but it’s local. I’d love to volunteer in such a place, as well as buy meals! 💖
      The Good Neighbor Project is awesome. Her bit about just going and helping needs to be embroidered on something!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes!!! I have featured Chef Andrès here a few times and I do so admire the good work he and his crew(s) do! They are still helping out in Ukraine, as well as other places. Yes, I’d love to volunteer in such a place, or even just to add a few dollars onto my bill in a restaurant, knowing that it would help feed someone who would otherwise go hungry! I love your idea about embroidering her slogan … JUST GO DO IT!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • That was my favourite, too! As I just told Ab, I think it would be great if every cafe/diner type restaurant implemented an “Everybody Eats” type of program! I would happily add $5 or $10 to the price of my meal to help feed somebody who wouldn’t otherwise have food! I think most people would. Glad you liked today’s “good people”!


    • Wouldn’t it be great if every diner/cafe type restaurant did something similar? Obviously I don’t mean expensive restaurants, but your average place. I bet at least half of those who are paying for their meal would be willing to chip in a few dollars! I love the idea!


  4. Pingback: Good People Doing Good Things — Seeing A Need And Acting | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

    • Most people do, I think, want to do good, but as you say, if they are not wealthy, they’re really not sure what they have to offer. Sometimes something as simple as a smile and a “how are you today?” is enough. What makes me angry, though, is that those who have the wherewithal to do huge good for others are greedy and do less than the average John Doe.

      Liked by 1 person

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