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Not-for-profit cafe donating $1 from each hot beverage purchase to the Home for Life senior outreach program

Paul Brian

By Paul Brian, The Enterprise-Bulletin

Journeys Blend Café is donating $1 dollar from every coffee to Home for Life volunteer-run senior care program. The cafe is a non-profit organization run by Journey Community Church with a team of staff and volunteers. Its mission is to give back to the community and serve as a place for people to connect. Left to right: Home for Life volunteers Howie Young and Daisie Gregory, Journeys Blend Café Manager Kevin Scott, Journeys Assistant Manager Kathryn Ruppert, Home for Life Volunteer Services Coordinator Laura Gallagher and Home for Life volunteer Beth Forsyth. PAUL BRIAN/THE ENTERPRISE-BULLETIN

Journeys Blend Café is donating $1 dollar from every coffee to Home for Life volunteer-run senior care program. The cafe is a non-profit organization run by Journey Community Church with a team of staff and volunteers. Its mission is to give back to the community and serve as a place for people to connect. Left to right: Home for Life volunteers Howie Young and Daisie Gregory, Journeys Blend Café Manager Kevin Scott, Journeys Assistant Manager Kathryn Ruppert, Home for Life Volunteer Services Coordinator Laura Gallagher and Home for Life volunteer Beth Forsyth. PAUL BRIAN/THE ENTERPRISE-BULLETIN

Journeys Blend Café is about more than coffee: it’s about connecting people and giving back to the community.

The not-for-profit cafe run by Journey Community Church, is donating $1 from the sale of every large hot beverage sold during the month of June to Home for Life senior care program, which is run through the local Community Health Link program and the Community Connection charity.

Home for Life recruits and trains volunteers to provide support services like visiting, dog walking, shopping assistance, meal preparation and driving to appointments.

It’s a mission that Journeys is enthusiastic about helping out with, especially as June is Seniors' Month in Ontario.

“Our goal here is to live out our faith and to be able to communicate that in love to people that come in,” said café manager Kevin Scott of Journeys’ Christian religious basis and explaining that the name Journeys Blend is about our many journeys and how they come together with opportunities to help each other and connect.

“When we started to hear about Home for Life, we’ve developed relationships with a lot of our regular clientele here are in similar situations that these people who are using Home for Life services are in, except our people have the ability to get out of the house. These people don’t.”

As Scott explained, the café is a place where patrons can explore questions of faith with staff, but are also free to just talk sports with their friends and family or have a quiet coffee alone.

“We sold our church about eight years ago and we’ve been looking for a way to give back to the community,” explained Journeys Assistant Manager Kathryn Ruppert, adding the café opened last June. “We want to give back to the community to help to better other peoples’ lives and that’s what Home for Life is doing as well.”

Home for Life volunteer Daisie Gregory has volunteered for the initiative for around six years and said it is meaningful to her to give back to others and be a friend and helper to other community members.

“It’s the connection with the seniors,” Gregory said, who noted a particular gentleman she’s helped for around three years first in his home and now in a retirement home. “Now he’s in a retirement home but he has no family who visit, so I visit him weekly and when he needs his snacks,” she added.

“It’s so that he has somebody,” said Gregory, a retired teacher who also helps out with the Stayner Nursing Home and Church of the Good Shepherd in Stayner. “Every time anybody comes into the home he says ‘that’s my friend,” she added.

Journey Community Church meets at Galaxy Theatre across from the café, and has a congregation of around 200. Pastor Dan Chatham said hunger and loneliness are two problems faced in the community that the cafe hopes to help alleviate.

“I hope that we can be part of the solution toward hunger,” Chatham said, adding that many may have enough to eat in the community but are often strapped for any finances outside of basics of getting by. “These are questions, more than answers,” he added.

Journeys serves as a place for gathering, talking and relaxing. Reaching out to bring that to the wider community came about naturally.

“We still have a number of people (who come to Journeys) who are lonely, who are looking for connections, just looking for people to be able to be involved with, so the idea of stretching that beyond our doors and being able to connect with people in their homes because they can’t get out was just a natural progression for us,” Scott added.

Journeys also sponsors various programs in the community including summer soccer programs, a summer day camp that’s free for children and several local elementary school programs and free seminars on budgeting and other topics in addition to other community projects.

When we open doors, tear down walls and reach across borders, all our journeys blend, reads a short statement inscribed to the side of a world map inside the cafe.

The initiative to support Home for Life runs until the end of June. Journeys welcomes being contacted about ways it can help in the community as well as those looking for more information about what it does, and its school and community programming. The cafe can be reached by phone at 705-445-2223. More information is also available online at www.journeysblend.com.

To find out more about Home for Life or sign up to volunteer visit www.homeforlifesgb.com

paul.brian@sunmedia.ca 

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