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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The ties that bind....

Hey Folks!
Everybody sticking to their New Years resolutions? No? It's alright, there's always next year! My New Year's resolution was to blog at least twice a month, and y'all see how well that's worked out.

Our lives are more chaotic than ever. Seems like we run harder, for longer in this truck, just to pay bills that keep multiplying like rabbits. Sounds like everyday America, right? Sometimes you have to take the time to STOP what you're doing and remember just how fortunate we all are. We have homes to go to, a positive balance in the checking account(even if its small) food in the fridge, clothes on our backs, and most of all, love. Now you may be thinking, "Love, February, makes sense." I'm talking about a little different kind of love. Not just the romantic kind, but the kind that leaves no place in the heart untouched. Yep, you got it now, friends, family, neighbors, and community. The ties that bind each and every one of us to the places we call home. I have discovered that my ties are binding. This is something that most people take for granted and are absolutely sure of. This was not the case for me in the beginning, as I floated along in my new neighborhood. Of course, that may have had something to do with not getting home enough, but I digress.

The lovely Ms Katy @ Safehouse
I found myself more often than not wanting to explore my surroundings on foot. My loop was getting a little larger everytime I ventured out, but the place I always seemed to end up was Safehouse Coffee & Tea. On the outside, it's a regular independant coffee house. Beautiful artwork, hand crafted by local artists lining the walls, plenty of comfy spots to hunker down in, good books aplenty, and our in house coffee purists. Only here, you find out that the bulk of their labor force donates their time. The lovely thirty-something couple sitting outside, that always lend an ear, or a hug? They're the "guardians" of said coffee utopia. "Guardians?" you say? Yep, guardians. They work to protect the interests of the Christian ministry(ICM- City of Hope) that own Safehouse. The very same ministry that is helping families in our area deal with all sorts of issues like addiction, povery, and faith to name a few. To be perfectly honest, I didn't know Hunt and Amanda ran the joint. They're just the salt of the Earth everyday folks. I'm not the expert here, so the very fine details are still coming together for me, but I've also been informed of the extensive youth ministry they have. The normal bunch of teens you'll see in any ol' coffee house; they're here too. However, instead of the usual random epithets, and whatever else, I've overheard lively debates over absinenance vs. safer sex, and truthful confessions of supremely hard decisions made throughout their week. "Why?"you ask? This place is more than just a building. It is a "safe" environment. In this forum these young people are encouraged to be who they are, while making better choices for themselves. I personally would like to see more adults treat our next generation of leaders this way, as I was always taught that it takes a village to raise a child. As all of this is germinating in your coconuts, know too that while helping their local community their outreach has even spread as far as Honduras, where Hunt Slade and Jacob Orr recently traveled to help rebuild hurricane-ravaged coffee farms for the village of Linares. Director of Coffee, Jacob Orr, said about the trip, "Truly good coffee builds strong communities, not just here in a small town like Griffin, but in family villages like Linares. We just wanted to help in any way we could." You can read more about the Safehouse Honduras trip at www.safehousehonduras.wordpress.com

All in all, I continue my patronage here not just because of my innate coffee snobbery, but because I love this place and all the people within. These folks, the first people I met on my own in a strange new place, made me feel welcome and included me in something I'd been desperately missing; community. This is what has prompted me to share their story with you. On January 30th, 2012, our friends at Safehouse, along with many in our little community, watched as the building went up in flames. By the grace of God, no one died or was injured. So here comes the hard part boys and girls; pitching in. Not only to show our support when times are tough, but to keep a very unique and vitally necessary part of our community alive. You can read more about Safehouse, and what they're about at www.safehousebev.com/

Efforts are being pulled together and the community as a whole is rallying around plans to rebuild Safehouse. A friend in the coffee industry has started an EverRibbon campaign online to raise funds for the rebuild at  http://www.everribbon.com/ribbon/view/5123

We need to come together to keep small business alive!

If you would like to donate to Safehouse, there has also been a fund set up through United Bank. United Bank is our hometown bank and has locations all through out the Spalding and Pike County area. You can donate at any branch, just specify that it is for Safehouse. All donations are tax deductible. If you need a direct contact to talk about your donation, you can reach Michael Thurston at helping@safehousebev.com or give him a call at 770-584-4442. Thank you in advance for the kindness and love you have shown and continue to show the Safehouse family! In helping them, you allow them to continue helping others.
Until next time folks, eat well, laugh often, and drive America's highways safely.

gypsy gourmet