Instead of proceeds going into the Kaladi Brothers Coffee cash registers on Sunday, they will be put in an envelope and donated to the Soldotna Library expansion project.
Kaladi Brothers locations throughout the state, and the lone location in Seattle donate to charities a couple times each year. The first day of the new year will mark the third year the Soldotna locations have donated locally.
“It’s a lot more personal, you know,” Amy White-Baxter, manager at the Sterling Highway location said. “We can feel we’re contributing to the community we live in every day.”
Included with every dollar made, the employees working on Jan. 1 donate their hourly wages and tips.
“It’s easier to find volunteers in our store and people are willing to go a little bit further knowing they’re going to see the results in their own community,” White-Baxter said.
One of those employees volunteering on Sunday is life-long Soldotna resident Kelly Skipwith, 22, who works at the Kobuk location. Being able to give back is one of the reasons Skipwith likes working for Kaladi Brothers.
“We definitely try to give back to the community through donations like this,” he said. “We donate coffee to functions all the time — (in order to) try and help support the community.”
The fact that this year’s donation recipient will be the Soldotna Library resonates with Skipwith.
“We’ve all used the library,” he said. “It’d be nice to see it grow a bit.”
Skipwith’s manager, Amirah Marey, also grew up in Soldotna, and like Skipwith, grew up visiting the library.
“I went there with my friends that I’m still friends with to this day,” she said.
Last year, Marey said, the two locations raised about $1,230 for the Stitches of Love Organization, and the year before the coffee shops raised over $800 for Soldotna Creek Park.
“We can visually see things around our town and it’s always good to help those in need out,” Marey said.
It does not matter how big or small a Jan. 1 purchase is, Marey said. From a cup of black coffee to a pound of ground coffee, it will all go to the same place.
“Instead of going to Kaladi’s, it will go to the library expansion project,” she said.