Cup of Kindness Project

A cup of coffee or tea can soothe the soul — especially when partaken in the cozy, community atmosphere of a local coffee shop.

But not everyone can afford this simple luxury.

A new movement based on the century-old Italian tradition of the caffe sospeso (“suspended coffee”) is sweeping the globe. The “suspended coffee” concept encourages patrons to purchase a cup of coffee for themselves and another “suspended” cup (or cups) to be donated to someone who needs it.

As a community of generous souls, this is a program tailor-made for Decatur. Wildflour Artisan Bakery & Cafe, in conjunction with several local social service agencies, will pilot a “Cup of Kindness” program starting February 14, 2017.

Community residents may purchase “Cup of Kindness” vouchers good for one small cup of coffee or tea. Wildflour will offer these vouchers at a reduced price. Vouchers must be purchased in person at Wildflour, 256 West Main Street, near downtown Decatur, but they may be available for purchase online at a later date.

The vouchers then will be distributed to The Salvation Army, DOVE, Catholic Charities, Decatur-Macon County Opportunities Corporation and the Decatur Housing Authority. These agencies will pass on these cups of kindness to those they assist.

“I am very excited to be a part of this movement, especially during a time of worldwide political negativity,” says Amy Scrimpsher, ROSS Service Coordinator with the Decatur Housing Authority. “It is a way to focus on “kindness” instead of negative emotions/thoughts. I am hopeful this will help bring the focus back to loving one another.”

The pilot program will focus on low-income elderly residents and those living in The Salvation Army men’s shelter and the DOVE domestic violence shelter. With enough community support, the program can expand to others in need of a kind gesture.

“I would like to see this project expand beyond simply purchasing a cup of coffee for an anonymous person,” says Wildflour owner Kelly Wingard. “I envision a broader outreach where people can connect on a personal level. For instance, having a designated “afternoon coffee club” time when donors could engage with recipients by playing cards or board games or just chatting. This would allow recipients to feel part of the community.”

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