Army Officer turned cafe owner’s kind idea to help the needy during pandemic

Shared News for the Defence Community: Credit and Source: Yahoo News

After trading in bullets for bagels, Queensland man Michael Lorrigan hasn’t forgotten the lessons he learned in the military.

He now works as Managing Director of café-chain The Two 14 Group – named after his former regiment – and is using his new career to help others in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Through his cafes, Mr Lorrigan is helping locals provide meals for frontline healthcare workers and those struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic through his aptly-named ‘No One Left Behind’ initiative.

The former Army Officer and Afghanistan veteran started the initiative after seeing a Facebook post written by somebody who was having trouble buying food after paying the rent.

“It was at that moment I realised we weren’t doing it as tough as other people, so we thought to ourselves what can we do to try and help those doing it tougher than us?” Mr Lorrigan told Yahoo News Australia.

The initiative is based on the old military saying, ‘no man left behind,’ but Mr Lorrigan says it’s all about being inclusive of everybody.

“It’s like a pay it forward program.”

“Essentially, people can very simply get on to our website, purchase a meal, that gets a basic food item and drink.”

“We hand it over to anyone who would like to claim it,” he said.

While the social distancing rules that have been in place for months have significantly impacted the business, Mr Lorrigan and the Café Two 14 team are still paying it forward regardless of the downturn.

“It was just so out of our hands.”

“For us as business owners, you have a plan and that doesn’t include a pandemic,” he said.

Café Two 14 is named after Mr Lorrigan’s former unit, the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment where he served as an Australian Armoured Corps Officer for almost a decade.

In honour of Café Two 14’s namesake and its link to Mr Lorrigan’s former military career, he has ensured that his small business also has ongoing initiatives in place that gives back to help Australian military veterans and their families.

“Café Two 14 is named after the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment, and their motto was ‘forward’, so we’ve adopted that.

“We’ve pushed that out to be, ‘helping veterans move forward’,” he said.

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