The note to The Timbuktu Café says:
Because we have an income less than $80,000 per year we qualify for the Commonwealth Seniors healthcare card and as such have just received $750 each from the Government.
We pay no tax as our income is from our superannuation pension.
The Government says the $750 is for us to spend to help the economy.
I need nothing that I can think to spend it on and have thought that I would like to donate it to your business Pierre – you are certainly part of the economy and we very much admire your efforts to create a wonderful new family focused business. Plus your ever smiling welcome despite these hard times – it helps us all.
All the very best. We hope this helps in a small way.”
Pierre owns The Timbuktu Café in Melbourne and he posted the photo and comment to his café’s FB page:
“I found this under our door when I opened the cafe. No name. Whoever you are, thank you so much.
Lost for words. ❤️”
Goodness Me!! Lost for words alright!!
I found myself thinking about this post as I walked to my own local café for our daily coffee. It certainly has been a rough time for many small businesses across Australia, across the globe – that’s for sure! And many of us are doing what we can to support the small businesses that are part of our everyday life – we want them to be there when this is over!
Every day I post something business related to LinkedIn and as it was a Friday, I thought I’d post the generous benefactor Timbuktu Café story. I almost hesitated “Is it more FB than LinkedIn?”
The reaction to my post on LinkedIn has been entirely amazing. You can see it if you click here
My LinkedIn post has (updated 28 July) has had almost half a million views, 11 527 reactions (Likes) and 681 comments and hundreds of shares – huge numbers for a LinkedIn post.
So I went back to the post on The Timbuktu Café FB page. It has 26 000 reactions (Likes) 1 200 comments and 5 600 shares.
These are huge numbers for a single post.
It turns out that this kind and anonymous benefactor has done so much more than donate this $750 in crisp new $50 notes – they have created a conversation across the globe.
Why are people so keen to react, comment and share this story?
At first I considered if it might be because people like the kindness aspect of the gesture – and the extent of the generosity. Giving all of the stimulus $750 to one cause. Lots of comments like “Fantastic generosity” and “What kindness to their favourite café”
Certainly, in the past few months there have been wonderful examples of simple kindnesses, many uncelebrated. People quietly showing kindness to others.
Perhaps it’s resonating with people who aspire to bring the same sense of joy and impact to their community.
Maybe it is the Pay it Forward message of changing the world with simple actions vs grand gestures and extensive planning.
Whatever the reason this story resonates with so many people, the thing is, it has and continues to.
Then I thought about Mr Fred Rogers. Have you seen the recently released film ‘Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood’?
If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it – and especially during this strange covid time.
There is a wonderful quote from Fred Rogers:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news my mother would say to me:
“Look for the helpers – you will always find people who are helping.”
To this day especially in times of disaster I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realising that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
Right now as we feel so helpless in the grand scheme of things, I believe we are all looking for ways we can help others in small ways. A smile. A gift. An offer to assist another.
It’s the inner helper in all of us that responds to a story like this and we see (or would like to see) a small part of ourselves in the gesture.
As they say “you cannot be it, if you cannot see it.”
When we see a story like the Timbuktu Café, it inspires and encourages us to be a helper during a difficult time.
Perhaps even, to be a better version of ourselves
Take care of yourselves wherever you are in this strange covid world