When Tracey and Michael McPhee dreamt of opening a coffee and sandwich shop in Bundaberg their vision was simple — to create a place where people could gather and connect over a great coffee or meal, and to build a business that could give back.
Almost ten years later, with Alowishus customers behind them, they’ve supported charities, schools, sporting teams and Wide Bay initiatives making a difference.
One of the important causes Alowishus partners with is Marcus Mission, a whole-of-community approach to men’s mental health and wellbeing. In 2014, Bundaberg man Marcus Roberts took his own life at age 23 while battling depression. Marcus’ family was determined to change the statistics around men dying by suicide and worked with Wesley Mission Queensland to create an initiative to support men.
Marcus Mission helps men with the same care and kindness that Marcus showed others and introduces them to everyday blokes who are trained and skilled to offer mateship and peer social support. They also run safe and welcoming workshops.
Bundaberg Area Co-ordinator for Marcus Mission, Adrian Pearce, said Alowishus’ support had helped in the running of mental health workshops for men in Bundaberg.
“Through our mentoring and resilience building programs, we hope to reach and assist men who are doing it tough and give them a safe space where they can get the support and skills they need,” Adrian said.
“Marcus Mission is about mates helping mates, and we’re so grateful for the support from our local community,” he said.
Alowishus Group Manager Marcus Sorbello said another way Alowishus customers were making a difference was through their Pay It Forward program.
“Customers can purchase a sandwich voucher which is given to people in Bundaberg who are homeless or struggling between pay cheques,” Marcus said.
“Our Alowishus customers are so generous—we’re just the vehicle through which it happens and we’re proud to play our part,” Marcus said.
Alowishus has recently opened a new store in the West Bundaberg medical precinct, across from Bundaberg Base Hospital.
Connect with Marcus Mission Bundaberg on Facebook.