Three Brothers Donate to the Homeless through Their Own Business

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. man / mæn / (v) – to fill a position for a certain task at work

    We need more people to man our booth at the mall.

  2. legwork / ˈlɛgˌwɜrk / (n) – the part of a job that requires physical activity

    Since he is the only one who knows how to operate the machine, he did half of the legwork.

  3. hands-on / ˈhændzˈɒn / (adj) – having active participation or involvement in something

    We need to find a hands-on manager who can train the staff more closely.

  4. administrative / ædˈmɪn əˌstreɪ tɪv / (adj) – related to managing or supervising an organization or a business

    Administrative tasks are given only to high-ranking employees.

  5. expand / ɪkˈspænd / (v) – to grow bigger

    We are planning to expand our business overseas.


Read the text below.

Three young brothers from Maryland, United States, are donating to the homeless using earnings from their own business.

Brothers Collin, Ryan, and Austin Gill, who are 13, 11, and 8 respectively, run their own candle-making business. They started this venture after their mother, Celena Gill, told them to get a job or start a business if they would like to buy more toys and video games.

While deciding what to sell, the boys asked their mother what she would normally buy, and she answered “candles.” This sparked the idea of opening a candle business called Frères Branchiaux [FREYR BRONCH-yoh], which is French for “Gill Brothers.”

The business is a success, and the boys’ products are now sold in more than 30 local stores. To give back to the community, the boys decided to donate 10% of their income to shelters for the homeless. They also hope to open a shop in the future and hire homeless people to man their production.

Currently, the whole Gill family is involved in the business, with the children doing most of the legwork. Collin makes around 60% of their monthly production. Everyone is involved in mixing scents, but Ryan is the most hands-on in this area. Meanwhile, Austin claimed to be the best in setting up the candlewick, or the string used in candles. Celena and her husband Patrick Gill help the children with administrative work.

At the moment, Collin would like to have a candle truck where they could sell candles on the go. He also added that maybe they could own a factory and expand to other countries in the future.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• If you were the three young brothers’ parents, would you allow your children to start their own business? Why or why not?
• Do you think the young brothers’ candle-making business has the potential to expand? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Do you think it is important for children to be involved in community service, such as helping the homeless? Why or why not?
• What do you think children can do to help people in need (e.g. homeless orphans)? Discuss.