Sunday 10th March is when I started providing pizzas to the Pizza Sunday club. The Pizza Sunday Club provide pizzas ( and some other foods) to homeless people on Sunday nights at the top of Grafton Street. After talking with Dermot (one of the head guys), I knew straight away that I wanted to be involved in this great service. But how does this tie into where I’m at with my business…
I was part of many Foroige groups in my early teens such as peer education, Summer groups and Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life group. It is something I loved doing, getting to know other people and the lives they live. When I turned 18 I became a volunteer with the groups I once took part in. I always felt it was right to give back to society what I was given… The chance to upskill myself or even something as small as someone to talk to.
I also volunteered with St Vincent de Paul for some summer programmes in my late teens. This involved bringing less fortunate kids from inner-city Dublin on a week-long holiday to places on the outskirts of Dublin. Not everyone is fortunate enough to get the chance to go on “sun” holidays. For these children, this week away is possibly the only break away they get from their society. I’m not saying I came from the same background as these kids, but I felt I was able to connect with them due to my past experiences. Again, I loved to hear their ways of thinking, their life stories (if they felt comfortable telling it). Everything can be seen so differently through the eyes of somebody else. What different people class as important in their life can really have an impact on one person. It definitely did on me. So how does this make sense with me and my business?
I had got to a stage in February 2019 where I was re-evaluating everything. I felt everything I was doing had lost some meaning. I didn’t enjoy it. Yes, I know it is a business and it can be a grind most of the time. But, I was just doing paperwork, meeting deadlines and feeling stressed all the time. I had started the business to bring healthier pizzas to people and really enjoyed my time in the kitchen making the product. As time went on and as the pressures multiplied, I lost sight of what I was actually doing and what I was doing it for. It was only after a meeting with an advisor that I just stopped… I literally stopped everything I was doing for a day and just thought of how I get back to a happier place. I was always happy Volunteering. I was filled with gratification when I was giving back. It gives a feeling that no money in the world can give as you are having an impact on people’s lives. So along comes the Pizza Sunday Club which gave me that opportunity to give back again. I am grateful that we started working together as it gives me that reminder that things I might get stressed about, or things I deem to be of vital importance are not the same with the less fortunate. It was easy for me to get caught up with cost models, branding, packaging, media etc but it is very important for me to also remember to have an element of happiness caused by giving back to society.