You may think you don't have enough time to give back, or you don't have extra money to give to a charity.
A Charlotte man created a business that makes it easy for everyone to give back, and all it takes is a cup of coffee.
On busy days at Carmen! Carmen! Salon in the Ballantyne community, the coffee machine in the waiting room is a welcome addition.
“Our staff is one of the biggest consumers of the machine,” said Kamilah Peebles, the salon's lead manager .
The idea for giving goes back to Horst Grau's father in World War II.
“He was in Africa, and then, like most Germans, he was on the Russian front,” said Grau, whose father was a soldier in the German army. He was captured by Americans, who eventually helped him get to the United States in 1956.
“Growing up, my father always told us how lucky we were to be here, how he could never repay those men to start out with for saving his life,” said Grau.
Grau learned from his father the importance of giving.
“If he would find out about someone needing something, he would do anything he could do to make that happen,” said Grau.
One woman in their neighborhood lost her husband in a car crash. Grau's father delivered groceries to her front door every other week. When one family suffered a kitchen fire, he had contractors remodel their kitchen.
That's what inspired Grau to create “Cup-a-Ccino,” combining a gourmet coffee business with giving back.
He calls it “Gourmet Giving.” At no charge, businesses agree to put these machines in their workplace, and then 50 percent of the profits are donated to a charity of the company's choice.
If a company sells a cup for $1, then roughly 17 cents will go to the company's designated charity.
“Really, all we are asking for is participation,” says Grau. “The people who embrace this program, they love it. I know as more and more people embrace it, the more people will love it.”
Machines at Carmen! Carmen! Salon benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation. They've raised almost $250 in just a couple of months.
Peebles said the program is ideal for them, doing good with every drop.
“It's such a wonderful way to serve our community and our guests as well,” she said.
For more information on Cup-a-Ccino, click on www.cup-a- ccino.com .