MILFORD — Coffee shops have become a place for people to hang out and are popular in communities. Milford will soon have its own coffee shop, providing opportunities to connect, serve and share with one another.
Its mission is “pouring hope into the community one cup at a time through building relationships, strengthening community and showing Christ’s love.”
“When you’re a Milford person you jump in and help other people,” said Karena Wilkinson. “The community has been struggling the past few years. You may have seen different things. Milford that’s here now is not necessarily the Milford I grew up in. We wanted to do something about that, we wanted to help change it for the better.”
Thus the idea for Harvest Coffee. “It has taken legs and run by itself,” said Wilkinson.
A community meeting was held Tuesday evening, March 21, at Milford School to explain the creation of Harvest Coffee, its plan, its goals and its needs. Founded by Wilkinson, she is working beside Amanda Jackson and Wendy Jackson, all of whom grew up in Milford. Harvest Coffee will be a working part of Harvest With A Heart.
Harvest Coffee, to be located on 103 S. Main St., between Bobi’s Shear Success and the Van Buren Township Trustee’s Office will have a “soft” grand opening during Milford Fest Saturday, May 27, with an official opening in June. It will be a full service coffee house, serving regular coffee, espressos, lattes, tea with the selection to expand, along with pastries. Hopes are to eventually provide lunch. Initial hours will be 6:30 a.m. through the afternoon. Summer hours will expand.
“It will be for everyone and double as a community center,” Wilkinson stated. It will also be a safe place for kids to hang out, a place to form intentional relationships not only for pre-teens and teens, but for young adults and young adults at heart.
Harvest Coffee will expand the work of Harvest With A Heart supporting struggling families. It will be a safe-haven for community members and students, a place for kids to hang out and learn about life skills, work ethics. “Today’s young people will turn into tomorrow’s adults and leaders,” said Wilkinson. Its commitment is to build connections within the community through intentional relationships with all clients, connect volunteers to fulfill needs of the community, create a network of mentorships for all ages, give back to the community through service projects, create after-school and summer programming to support the youth of the community, connect with Milford School to create a partnership and build a safe haven enhancing self-worth and a sense of belonging for all ages.
Hopes are to find volunteers to offer classes in life skills ranging from cooking and canning to small engine repairs to learning a new hobby could be offered. These would be for small groups and for short periods of time. It will be a place to sit and read a book, play board games and enjoy the courtyard with raised garden beds where area children can help grow produce to use at the coffee house and share with Harvest With A Heart. Expectations are there will be kids who spend their entire day at the coffee house. Because of this Wilkinson hopes to find a way to fund a summer snack program for those kids who are regularly there from open to close.
There are needs for Harvest Coffee. Wilknson stated she has gone out in faith to do this and the estimated cost to get it started is $15,000. Financial partnerships could be a one time gift, or month after month gift. Grants have been applied for and donations have already begun coming in — several months rent payment, espresso machine, refrigerator, stoves, coffee for a year. There are also such needs as shelving units, totes, a certified plumber and electrician, and numerous kitchen items.
Like Harvest With A Heart, Harvest Coffee is a non-profit organization and monetary gifts are tax deductible.
More details can be found on Harvest Coffee’s Facebook page, or emailing [email protected] Donations can be mailed to Harvest Coffee, c/o Harvest with a Heart, 201 S. Higbee St., Milford, IN 46542.