We need your help. We have not yet reached sustainability as a business, and we’re running out of time to do so.
In September, six families invested in the café. Regular people. Not rich people, or millionaires, most of these families contributed $1,000, and it was a lot for them to give. But it was important to them, because they believed in the mission of The Bridge, they believe in what God is doing in Putnam, and they believe that sustainable enterprise is an important method of empowering communities for change.
But these investments, our cushion, wasn’t very big, and it’s almost gone. We’ve been working diligently to make changes, improve the café, and raise awareness. But while we’ve improved the service and atmosphere tremendously, we haven’t yet reached our revenue goals, and we’re out of time.
We need you to help. Most importantly, we just need folks to go out of their way to spend the same money you spend at a chain restaurant or big box store with us instead. Whatever piece of this is important to you—whether you support our community development mission, want to build better local food economies, or just enjoy our food and atmosphere, we need you to make it a priority to drive slightly out of the way and come in. Or we won’t be here any longer.
Here are 5 ways that you can help us:
Pray – We believe that prayer works. Please pray for The Bridge by yourself, with your church, and with your small group or club. You can also join us at 7am, Monday through Saturday, as we pray when we open the coffeehouse doors each morning.
Eat. Drink. Shop – As a sustainable enterprise, we don’t need our supporters to do anything they aren’t going to do already. We offer a competitive product (better even) at a reasonable price—and you’re likely already going to dine out somewhere, get a coffee somewhere, or buy a Christmas gift somewhere. When you purchase from us, you also make your local community a better place. It’s a win-win.
If everyone who reads this makes a commitment to eat at The Bridge one time per week, we would be instantly financially solvent, and have enough funds left over to offer free community cooking classes.
If everyone who “likes” The Bridge on Facebook purchased a gift card or gift basket for one person on your gift list, we would have enough money to pay our rent for a year, and to put community gardens on three properties around Putnam.
Share – We need evangelists for this concept, and for this business. Will you encourage your friends and coworkers to come and eat with you at The Bridge? When everyone is standing around today, debating where to eat, will you suggest The Bridge? Will you share our Facebook posts with your friends, and be available to explain more about what makes The Bridge special, and to invite friends to join you here?
Donate – Every dollar that we receive—whether it’s an omelet sale, a “tips” donation at the cash register, or a larger gift—goes to support our community development projects. We welcome gifts to support our mission. Please “contact us” if you’d like to give, or stop by The Bridge any time.
Invest – If you have $1,000 or more that you’d like to see put to work in this community, please contact us. If The Bridge makes sense to you, and you’d like to support it in a big way, please join our community of investors and become an owner.
From the time that LifeBridgeOhio founded the café one year ago, to its change of ownership in September, with so many wonderful staff members, volunteers, donors and investors, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. This is a beautiful thing. Please help us to honor all of the ways that our community has come together and invested in this project by committing to support The Bridge in one of the ways listed above.
Together we can make this work. But our cushion is gone, and we need things to get better, and get better fast. With your help, we can make this happen.
We look forward to the continued opportunity to serve you and to build up our Putnam neighborhood, and our greater Muskingum community. And we hope that opportunity continues for a long time to come.
If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please reach out to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop into The Bridge any time and ask for Brad or Melissa.