Recently my family and I were on a trip to Iowa to bring a car up to my brother-in-law and see an area where I used to live. We found ourselves in Sioux City where I had never been. Some of you may recall buying a Gateway Computer which likely came from here, but the city itself was larger than I imagined and quite scenic as a departure from corn fields. We found ourselves downtown the morning we left and arrived at a place called Brightside Cafe for breakfast.

I’m not sure if this is the only location in the country, but it’s the only one in Sioux City and the food was great. However, they had signs posted up and placed on the menu that they invite the homeless in to eat for free anytime, especially on Sundays. Patrons who visit the restaurant can “feed it forward” by paying roughly $7.50 to buy a meal for a homeless person in the area. These are redeemed when those folks come to visit and they can feed as many people as they have vouchers for. For the curious, we bought two and our daughter got to watch us do something good for someone we will never meet…mostly because we don’t live there.

So how does your business contribute to the community around you? Yes, we all get the sponsorship asks for teams and groups throughout the year, but do you go further? Are you passionate enough about something or some group of people that you’re willing to incorporate it into your business? Though charitable giving is always in fashion when you step out with a story or purpose which is sincere and truly at the heart of what you do, you will be amazed who shows up to help you out…even travelers who might not have otherwise gone…because our brother tipped us off to this before we arrived and it only made the experience all the better.