Honesty Works

Honesty Works: we always knew it – but we’ve never had a week quite like this…

We had a break-in last Monday night and lost our Honesty Box takings for the day. Surveying the mess on Tuesday morning I never could’ve guessed I was about to have one of the most amazing few days of my life…

You can’t have missed it – we’ve been on BBC, UTV, Belfast Tele, U105, and all over social media like I’ve never seen!

Once the word started spreading, we started getting messages of support from everywhere and everybody. People were furious… WHO ROBS THE DOCK? asked one comment on Facebook and people were piling over each other to agree! We were overwhelmed by waves of love and solidarity and support. Then, people started offering donations… someone started a JustGiving page… Twitter users started a campaign for every Dock Cafe customer to pay double…

The result is, a few days later, we’ve received back what we lost and more besides, thanks to the amazing generosity of so many people. Overwhelming!

And that’s not even the best part…

Alongside the missing cash was a sketchbook, carefully set aside to return to a customer who had accidentally left it behind in the cafe the previous day. (He had been in touch via Facebook and we knew he was over the moon that we had found it – it was irreplaceable). We put out appeals through social media, BBC Thought For The Day, UTV Live… everything we could think of!

The stuff that was stolen was just stuff – but that notebook was precious and priceless. Was there any chance that, if we promised it could be left back anonymously, it might be returned? We couldn’t really dare to hope that much – could we?

Well – the writing’s on the wall – and it is true:

How awesome to see Dock Cafe at the centre of a Good News story that swept through the media even more powerfully than the Bad News of the day before:

Another day later, I’m still in shock, in delight, and utterly disarmed and dumbfounded by the goodness of people.

As I type, Dock Cafe is being installed with a burglar alarm offered as a gift by a local company. Davy the artist is sitting at the big table by the window, drawing caricatures of all our customers in return for an Honesty Box donation, his way of helping us out. Someone in America is organising a book drive… the list goes on!

I’m humbled by the love of the Dock community and by the generosity of strangers. I’m encouraged and inspired to keep trusting, keep believing the best in people. I have a renewed sense of gratitude and love for the amazing, unique movement we’ve started. And I’m saying, again and again, with fresh conviction and boundless joy: