18 May 2012

Just one more reason I love BJ's Restaurants...

:::EDIT:  Hannah K., I think you're gonna *really* love this post!:::

A few months ago, I called BJ's Restaurants' corporate office to let them know how excited I am that they are building a BJ's Restaurant in Waco.  Brian and I learned about BJ's Restaurants over a year ago.   The closest BJ's to us has been in Temple where Bennett was in the NICU for 39 days after his birth.   We love BJ's food and atmosphere.  But Brian and I especially love BJ's because it supports the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as one of it's beneficiaries.

So, when I heard BJ's was building one of it's restaurant in Waco, I couldn't keep myself from contacting them as soon as I saw the building going up.  I basically called and said, "Will ya'll come and be a part of our local Cystic Fibrosis Walk??"

Last November, the sweet man who answered my call, named Rob, carefully calmed me down from all my excitement and explained that, while BJ's would very much like to participate in our Walk, I would likely need to wait five or so more months before we could do anything.  He explained that the opening wasn't planned until Spring and no staff had even been hired.  

Reluctantly, I complied with his request and simply tucked his number (and the number of the person he recommended I eventually speak to) away, only to bring back out in March.  

Spring arrived in no time and I decided to call again, "Will ya'll come and be a part of our local Cystic Fibrosis Walk??"  This time, Rob's contact said, 'yes, let's find a way to do it!"

But then, we hit another road bump: the opening of the restaurant, which was going to coincide with our Walk had to be pushed back.  Maybe it didn't make sense to have BJ's participate until next year.

But I persevered.  I wanted to find a way.  BJ's corporate organization supports our national Cystic Fibrosis Foundation organization so I wanted to find a way we could locally support them, as they will one day locally support us.  I really wanted to get the word out at the Walk about BJ's because I firmly believe that if Wacoans know about our new BJ's, they will be more likely to learn about the CF Foundation and our local efforts here.

Together, the BJ's media contact and I worked to find a plan that would work.  We finalized that they would prove us needed materials and I would personally guarantee that our Walk would happily promote their new restaurant at our Walk, even though BJ's Waco isn't supposed to open until June 11.  (Next year, we both agreed, once the staff is put in place, BJ's would gladly form their own team and help us fundraise for a cure.)

So, imagine my surprise when one day a few weeks ago, after our finalizing our plan, I received a short email from sweet Rob (the man I originally spoke to and who had to calm down my excitement about a BJ's-and-Waco-Great Strides-match-made-in-heaven) stating he had seen Bennett's Youtube video and admired all that I was doing for Bennett and for other children afflicted with Cystic Fibrosis.   In support of our Walk, he explained, he was sending me a check to put towards Bennett's Brigade (and ultimately our CF Walk).  

To my delight, this is what showed up in my mailbox the next day:

I was shocked.  My mouth hit the floor.  One thousand dollars given to our team by BJ's.

And even better, the timing was impeccable.  Only a day before I received Rob's gift, I had recognized within me, the feeling of being deflated, almost questioning why I was even bother to fundraise for CF.  I was feeling down about the difficult task for asking for financial support and feeling hurt when people didn't respond.  I had, albeit inaccurately, wondered if anybody even cared.

And yet, this surprise gift arrived, from someone who didn't know me or have any particular reason to give.  It gave me an incredible amount of hope.

Now, I keep Rob's note snuggled between a thumb tack and the bulletin board in the "breeze way" by my back door - a reminder for when I'm feeling down that people really do care.

As though I really needed one more reason to love BJ's Restaurant... :)


  1. That is AWESOME! We have a BJs very close to us, I wonder if I could get them involved next year with our walk here in Seattle?!?

  2. Hahaha! Breck! I love this! I started smiling as soon as I saw the title. As IF we needed one more reason to love BJS! :) What a wonderful company...

  3. I am so glad you got this much needed & much deserved boost before your walk. I had a similar experience a week ago - opened an envelope expecting a smaller amount & there was a $1000 check. Congratulations for your perseverance, your dedication, your ability to connect real life to strangers and encourage them to care. You are a gift & inspiration to me! Hope we can get together soon, maybe next time you are in town for clinic. Love to see your smiling face!

  4. Oh my goodness! I'm on the Amtrak heading home from DC, and I started crying when I read this. God is SO GOOD!

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