“I traveled and spent some time in Eastern Europe with gypsies in Bulgaria, then to Mexico, parts of Asia and the Philippines. For me, it was a matter of going to love on people who were poor and in need, and to kind of experience first-hand what I now know to be true hardship.
I had different experiences that drove my desire to help the Philippines.
One in particular was at a garbage dump. I came across an older lady who was taking care of this orphaned girl who was probably 1 years old. She was able to stand, but wasn’t really walking yet. The older lady was leaning up against her shanty, and the girl was standing in the doorway, which was lifted off the ground a bit, so she was almost looking me right in the eyes.
Then the lady asked, ‘Will you take this baby?’ It was outrageous to me.
When I got home, I was able to give like $15 a month, whatever I could scrape by as a barista. I didn't make a ton of cash. I was living in a big city and I have two little girls and a wife myself.
I wasn’t able to give what my heart was really wanting to be able to offer.
So I thought, ‘If I can create a business, obviously there’s risk, but the reward could be phenomenal.' To be able to offer something bigger and more grand is what drove us to weigh everything aside and jump in full force like:
‘OK. We’re going to spend all our money, we’re going to max out our credit cards and we’re going to get this thing going.’
And it's worked. We give 21% of our profits back to the Philippines. That little girl lives in homes we built, she’s being educated and she has foster brothers and sisters. It’s prime caretaking, and she went from being a kid on a dump to being in a home with a family and an education and now she’s being clothed and fed.
It just changes your entire life to be able to offer those kinds of things.”
My Advice for Others
“If you feel it in your heart and it’s something that you love and something you’re going to take the risk to build, do it. You have to kind of just jump in. If you feel it in your heart and it’s something you want to do and you love doing it, give it a shot. There’s usually stuff to fall back on, and at the very least, you can always find another job.”
What I Love Most about Portland
“There’s a lot to love. It’s the culture and the people. We live differently than a lot of other big cities. Portland still has a small town feel, a lot of good opportunities to eat, be social, drink good coffee. I love being a part of a city that’s driven by similar things that we are. There’s a lot of social awareness around here and a lot of calls for social justice.”
My Portland Must
“Head to Pip’s. They serve awesome serve awesome chais and fresh, made to order little miniature doughnuts. I worked there for a year and a half before starting Kainos. Nate Snell, who’s the owner, is one of the most rad dudes. Or visit Jim Dandy Drive-In. In my opinion, those are the best cheeseburgers in Portland. It's a classic diner."