Banu Balladares presents Manolo at Outstanding Philanthropic Small Business Award 2021 Charlotte, NC. 18 Nov 2021
Let me share with you three stories featured in my thank you speech on a great occasion, the National Philanthropic Day.
By Manolo Betancur
STORY NUMBER ONE
In December of 1999 I decided to move to The United States of America and my mother left me a life lesson in a farewell note:
“If you are going to the States, you cannot give up there, you are not coming back to this house as a loser.”
Maybe my mother’s words sound harsh, but those words are the ones that pushed me to never give up. I put this note on the wall of my student room to look at it every morning. I left behind a promising career as a naval officer in Colombia’s military because I knew that I had to pursue my greatest purpose in life.
We live in a world where too many people give up, the fastest and easiest way is the path too many choose. Some forget that hard work is the foundation of the American dream, and never giving up is the only option.
Please, never think that giving up is an option.
Rewards are enormous and maybe you will see a big smile on your mom’s face when you come back home.
STORY NUMBER TWO
Last summer I said out loud that every so often I called my daughter little Coco Chanel. Then a friend suggested that I should explore another role model for my daughter, and realized that she was right.
So I looked for a local hero, and I found it. Her actions inspire us to never lose hope in humanity and to have compassion in OUR community. Our hero left a big position in Corp America and decided to work for the future of our nation. She shows us the importance of being brave.
I realized that we don’t need to look for role models somewhere else, we need to look in our neighborhoods.
Please choose your local hero.
We did. So now I call my daughter my little Banu.
STORY NUMBER THREE
A few years ago, my cousin in Colombia, called me and said Manolo, one of my students who is 9 years old and his name is Emmanuel has cancer and his family lives in extreme poverty. Is there any way that you can help?
I shook my head and I said my son’s name is Emanuel and he is also 9 so it is impossible for me not to help this boy. So I sent his mother $100.
We were very close to collapsing in the Bakery. I was having one of my most difficult times at the bakery.
Three days later, my bakery technician showed up at the bakery saying Manolo, I have known you and your business for 12 years. It is difficult for me to see that you are having a hard time and seeing the bakery in need. So please take this check for $30.000 for whenever you need and you can start paying me back when you can.
Please take my advice, choose kindness.
It is a good and smart investment to create a better, kinder world.
Please, never give up.
Please, choose your local hero.
Please, choose kindness.
I want to thank the Charlotte Bilingual Preschool for nominating me for this award and for what you do for Our future. Thank you so much to The Association of Fundraising Professionals of NC Charlotte Chapter for giving me this award. I don’t have enough words to show my gratitude to you.
I also want to thank my wife for always supporting me, my kids who are the love of my life, my team at the bakery and to all of those amazing people who helped me during the pandemic.
Manolo’s bakery survives because of your kind heart.
By Manolo Betancur
Video of the speech
Don’t give up, choose a local hero and be kind Speech.
- Ceremony´s Awards complete video by Kim Brattain Media
- Association of Fundraising Professionals of NC, Charlotte Chapter.
- Charlotte Bilingual Preschool.
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