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MCC Cafe: Saving The World One Cup Of Coffee At A Time

IN THE September 7 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andLorie Lewis Ham,
andMinistry Musings
SECTIONS

by Lorie Lewis Ham

Can you imagine being able to change the world just by buying a cup of coffee? Well at the MCC Cafe in downtown Reedley, you can do just that!

“With each purchase at the MCC Cafe you are helping families worldwide improve their lives and build healthy communities,” states their Facebook page.

“All proceeds from the Cafe, as well as the Mennonite Quilt Center, benefit Mennonite Central Committee, supporting relief, development and peace in the name of Christ around the world,” said Emily A. Stednick, HR & Communications Coordinator, West Coast Mennonite Central Committee.

“For more than 90 years MCC has been working alongside communities around the world to extend a hand when disaster strikes, support innovative solutions to poverty, and invest in peace building in 61 countries with 492 partners,” stated West Coast MCC Executive Director Sheri Wiedenhoefer.

Inside the Cafe

The Cafe is supporting the work of MCC in our own region as well. This work includes youth leadership development, immigration and documentation services, peace building work in communities along the Arizona/Mexico border, human trafficking, and restorative justice initiatives, which includes their partnership with the Reedley Police Department for the Victims Service Unit and the Reedley Peace building Initiative.

“The MCC Cafe is designed to be a community space where people can meet and enjoy downtown Reedley, while being a part of the global work of MCC,” said Emily.

Another amazing thing about the Cafe is that it was built entirely by volunteers, led by Roger Brandt. “They had a vision for creating a place that is part of a larger story and purpose,” continued Emily.

“God brought it all together in a beautiful way, through extraordinarily generous people, using their vision, gifts and skills in countless acts of service to bring the MCC Cafe to life,” said Sheri. “May we be faithful with what has been entrusted to us!”

Ilone Kasdorf manages the Cafe. She is from Brazil and came to this area to attend Fresno Pacific University. She worked in the MCC offices for a year after graduating from Grad School, and then came back a couple years later to take on this project. “I was hired to be the resource center manager, which in the beginning of 2012 included the quilt store on 1012 G Street (same building) and a drop off location for resources that get sent overseas in our Quonset hut in the back. Part of my job was also to dream about what 1008 [G Street] would become and help make it happen.”

Cafe counter

MCC Cafe also provides internship and volunteer opportunities for people who are seeking to spend their time in a meaningful way.

According to Emily, future plans for the Cafe include increased community functions such as evening concerts or storytelling events. The Cafe is open 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. They have hot, cold and blended coffee drinks, specialty teas, vintage sodas and pastries.

Stop by and try some of their awesome coffee (this reporter tried it and can attest to that) and at the same time you will be helping people in need all over the world! How can you beat that!

Janet Laemmlen

UPDATE: After the interviews for this article took place, Ilone accepted the position of Rancho Cucamonga MCC Thrift Store Manager in southern California. Janet Laemmlen is the new Mennonite Quilt Center Manager, with a new Cafe manager to be announced soon. Janet is a former Immanuel Home Ec Instructor. “She’s a perfect fit for the role!” stated Sheri.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Katherine EnnsNo Gravatar September 11, 2013 at 10:53am

THANKS to MCC for sponsoring our parents, including 3 kids, voyage to FREE-AMERICA…..1930!!!!

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