Here is a synopsis, but first let us say that we have made one key change since our previous Awesome grant, which came up a bit short. The focus is still the great teen program, but now we have secured a donor who will match a 1k grant in order to fund the truly Awesome college intern we have to be able to stay next summer to fully operate and grow our program. With that, here is the context:
The Local Cup is a non-profit neighborhood coffee shop in a diverse part of town that seeks to create a space for neighbors to come together, form relationships, and strengthen community (and drink tasty, locally-roasted, pour-over coffee). In an attempt to welcome all, we have adopted our pay-it-forward system, where your coffee and muffin have been already been paid for. You are then free to accept the gift or pay it forward, in any amount, to keep the chain of neighborly generosity going.
As part of our commitment to the neighborhood and its people we have developed a teen internship Leadership Training Program. Too often in this part of South Bend, the goal of youth is to be able to move to another area, But through this program we provide paid internships to local youth, who work behind the counter and serve hand-crafted coffee drinks. Most importantly, our program also provides mentorship, skills training and teambuilding.
The Local Cup's pay-it-forward donations cover the costs of coffee, baked goods, supplies, and even paying the interns (mostly - and we're working on covering that gap elsewhere). But the revenue does not provide for the operation of the Leadership Training Program. So far this work is being done by the all-volunteer managers of The Local Cup, as well as by a College Intern, who is able to use approved Federal Work Study resources for this community outreach. But these funds do not cover the summer, and our experience last summer was that without this help, burnout for us volunteer managers is a real possibility!
Funded by South Bend, IN (October 2016)