Sundays are for rest, relaxation and recreation…but for locals Khaled Bitar and Brittani Leigh, they’re for giving back.
When the couple saw Thomas the Train, a local children’s fixture outside the Italian Station coffee shop had again been damaged, they volunteered their time, tools and talents. Brittani and Khaled spent approximately ten hours of work repairing the train, including adding a new, sturdier roof and larger wheels that allow for relocation inside the shop each night. Due to the train’s size, they also had to work onsite and make several trips for parts and measurements.
Shop owner Anita Crossfield was surprised when the couple refused any type of compensation for their work.
“For somebody to take their time and dedicate that to their (the children) smiles, it says a lot about what kind of people they are. Not many people would take the time during their busy lives to do that.”
She expects these new changes should allow Thomas to avoid further repairs for the foreseeable future.
The couple aren’t strangers to volunteering their time. They’re regulars at volunteer opportunities in the community, including the Love Scrub cleanup events in Hurkamp Park. When not giving back, Brittani is a realtor and Khaled works for the government.