Philanthropy At Its Finest
Currently we are living in a time when pennies are pinched and our lives seem more constricted. There are many people in need. In retrospect, we are living in a time where giving is at its most great, and everyday heroes are not in the movies, but walk among us.
I have made it a personal quest to find these everyday philanthropists. We read about those who are extremely wealthy and give large amounts of money to charity. However, my focus is on the everyday people who are making a difference. Those philanthropists who actually have day jobs and make the rest of us feel that we too can give or help in a cause.
Welcome to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto is a place where you can dine at a delicious authentic Indian restaurant for lunch, and walk next door and eat some delicious Jamaican jerk chicken for supper. Toronto boasts many blocks of “little countries” in every corner. Ethiopian? French? Sri Lankan? Spanish? Yes, please! Sample a piece of the world’s dishes by walking a few blocks. Genuine kindness, a plethora of culture and a full belly is what is behind each restaurant door.
Across from Honest Ed’s “everything” store on Bathurst is a small restaurant with a big heart. Sam and Agathi own George’s Chicken, a small eatery in a busy part of Toronto. It sells everything from Spaghetti to arguably some of the best chicken Kabobs in town. However, it has a few secrets other then the fabulous food that has given Sam and Agathi such loyal customers.
The owners believe in something that is rare today, keeping prices low. The menu has hardly changed even with the huge flux of food prices! The philosophy is simple. Everyone deserves a good meal at a fair price; certainly a rare idea in these times! Walk into the restaurant and receive good conversation from at least one of the owners and feel like a part of the family. Instead of raising prices substantially, they work longer hours, often times if you have a midnight craving, George’s Chicken is open and ready for your business! They also start early morning breakfasts on the weekends. It’s a warm environment, but that’s not the big deal that they keep under wraps.
Sam and Agathi donate a few hundred rotisserie chickens every year to the homeless around Christmas. Trust me; this is not a huge restaurant. They really go out of their way to give everyone a full belly at Christmas time. They do not call the press, they do not promote their business; they just give. Many have witnessed George’s Chicken give a hot meal to homeless people who are hungry at any time. These are the stories of people doing extraordinary things. This very small business gives more to those in need then many businesses three times its size. They give what they know best, food.
Sam and Agathi may be one of many kind hearted restaurateurs in the world that donate. I just think its time we start talking about it. George’s Chicken, along with many every day philanthropists, give back to the community. Through their generosity they make the rest of us know and feel like we can do the same.
If you live or are ever visiting in Toronto, go to Bathurst and Bloor, right across from Honest Eds, stop by George’s Chicken and grab a bite. Speak to the owners, they’re great conversationalists and extremely genuine. As for me, I continue my search for everyday good people, those who have some and give back plenty. Readers, want to share with me your own story?