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Giving Back Locally

“The local community has been incredibly supportive and it made sense to give back locally.”
–Carole MacDonal, Owner, Il Cortile Ristorante and La Cosecha

_L004800I think we all marvel at business owners, who not only take risks on enterprises, juggle multiple moving parts, survive on little to no sleep, work tirelessly to turn a dream into reality, but who also have faith that a community will support their endeavor.  Carole and Santos wisely invested in the Paso Robles’ downtown, first opening Il Cortile Ristorante and more recently, La Cosecha Bar & Restaurant.

Carole and her husband, chef Santos MacDonal, moved here thinking it was absolute paradise.  And while paradise is still found in Paso Robles, she learned quickly that there are people struggling with poverty on a daily basis.  1 in 5 children in the North County live in poverty having the highest rate of free and reduced lunch in San Luis Obispo County.  She found it is also one of the least talked about topics in our affluent region.

Carole is no stranger to philanthropy and volunteerism. She was involved in mentoring programs in Los Angeles and has long supported efforts in Third World countries.  So when Terry and Jennifer Hoage took Carole out to lunch and explained how must! charities is working in our local community, she saw their passion and recognized a successful model.  Her confidence in must! charities increased, seeing the achievement in restoring the Boys and Girls Club to a vibrant refuge for school-aged kids.

Carole was told once, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.”  So that’s how Third Thursday began.  A busy Carole spearheaded a downtown campaign for businesses to dedicate the third Thursday of every month promoting a themed discount or special offer, with a portion of proceeds benefiting must! charities.  Almost a year later, momentum is gaining.

Third Thursday is an opportunity for local business owners to build philanthropy into their business model and gives consumers the opportunity to not only support local businesses, but also support local philanthropic efforts.  must! charities’ operating budget is funded by Executive Board members, which means 100% of all community donations go directly into local programs.  And must! charities is not re-inventing the wheel – they are working alongside existing non-profits, creating long-term sustainable models to meet the needs of our local community.

To support Third Thursday and must! charities, follow them on Facebook and visit local downtown Paso Robles businesses participating on the Third Thursday of every month.