The Power Of Opportunity

By Manolo Betancur

Giving an opportunity could be more powerful than donating.  I believe in this idea. Let me tell you why:  The power of opportunity lives between the giver and the one in need; that makes both dreamers. 

And ¿What are they dreaming?  The answer is in one word: Change! 

Make change happen, by doing.

Opportunities are better than donations because I have witnessed how opportunities produce collective change. 

Opportunities bring us closer, donations sometimes keep us at a distance.

Without an opportunity we could not get to the position of doing it- thank you Wells Fargo for creating both for us. 

Once, a famous physicist said: 

“Give me a lever and a place to stand, and I will move the earth.” 

So, as a “ChangeBaker” I would say: 

Give me an opportunity, and I will change the world. Or I better say : Let’s all create opportunities and change the world together. 

Talking about Opportunities 

Once, I had a deportation order. 

I missed an appointment that I never knew that I had.

I was guilty of not showing up, and that means under current immigration law, I had to leave the country- When I had to face the judge, he said: 

“Tell me what you have done for this country” – 

I told him how I behave, and he said: 

“Thank you for everything you have done for this nation- you are an example for many Americans to follow. I am allowing you to stay here; I am ordering the immigration system to make you an American citizen.” 

Because that judge gave me the opportunity to be an American citizen, I could become a business owner- so I bought a bakery. 

But like any other small business, sometimes we have hard times. As I was fighting to keep my bakery open, a new opportunity came to my life. 

Wells Fargo gave to the Foundation of the Carolinas funds to help small businesses. So, I got a $90k grant through Beyond Open to fix broken equipment and buy a machine that helped me cover cakes in two minutes.

One of those cakes goes to Raise You Up two times a month. Here is the story:

I heard about an organization that works with Charlotte’s homeless community. “Raise You Up” celebrates the birthdays of neighbors who live in our streets. 

How cool! How human! 

To me, that was one of the Coolest ideas ever. 

They have birthdays like us, but nobody has thought about them in that way before. I asked them where you guys buy the cakes for their birthdays. They said we could not afford to buy cakes for them, so I told them that from now on, you can get the cakes from my bakery without payment. 

As “Raise You Up” and I started getting the cakes, I decided one day to deliver them myself – when I arrived there- a woman from the organization approached me and said, “Are you the cake man?“ 

I said I guess so – You saved a life yesterday –

I said you are mistaken for me – I was at the bakery, and I did not do anything different from my regular day- she said let me explain how you saved a life 

We got around our neighbor and started singing Happy Birthday. He started crying over the cake. When we asked him what he was crying about, he said it was the first time in his life that he had a birthday cake. 

Because of that cake and that celebration, he did not kill himself – so he took his pistol out of his pocket and put it next to the cake- the gun that he was going to use to kill himself. 

To the bakery founders. To the judge. To “Raise you Up”. To the Foundation of the Carolinas. And especially, To Wells Fargo, the Bank of doing! 

I want to say that, because of these chains of opportunities: 

We have saved a life—we are changing the world!

It is truly a dream come true to be able to serve my bread to the thousands of fans at the Wells Fargo Championship again this year. Because of this experience last year, I was able to double my cake production. 

This opportunity from Wells Fargo has opened many opportunities for our bakery and we are forever grateful for the support. 

Thank you, Wells Fargo, for believing in Manolo’s Bakery. 

Now more than ever, 

We need to focus on the opportunities! 

Let´s Make change happen, by doing.

Thank you all 

Manolo Betancur / Idea Entrepreneur 

Founder of Made In America By Immigrant Hands

CEO Manolo´s Bakery

May 3 / The Range / Wells Fargo Golf Championship 2024

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