Coffee good for the heart: New Year's sales to benefit Stitches of Love charity

Posted: Friday, December 31, 2010

Stitches of Love will start 2011 with a little extra money. On Saturday, Kaladi Brothers Coffee will donate all of their sales to local charities. Stitches of Love will be the recipient of sales from the company's two Soldotna cafes.

Sharon Hale, one of the group's founders, said the organization makes quilts for kids who are going into foster care. Every foster kid in the central Peninsula area gets one, she said, and the group also sends quilts to Seward and Homer. She added that it's not just the little kids who get a quilt.

"Foster kids are kids all the way through 18," she said. So the quilts range in size from a small baby quilt to one for a twin bed. Each quilt comes with a pillowcase full of toiletries, she said.

On New Year's Day in 2010, the Soldotna stores donated more than $700 to the Soldotna playground, said manager Amy White. "Hopefully we'll beat that this year," she said.

Even $700 would go a long way for the quilters. Hale said it was hard to know exactly how much they spend on quilts each year because they also get so many donations, but it's "many hundreds of dollars."

Hale said Stitches of Love relies on donations for most of its quilting supplies but the group also sells potholders to raise money for items, like batting and fabric for the backs of quilts, that aren't donated as often. In the last five or six years, the quilters have made 400-500 quilts.

This fundraiser will be pretty easy for the quilters said Dale Tran, Kaladi's chief operating officer.

"It's as simple as buying a Kaladi latte and it goes all toward charity," he said. All sales -- not just profits -- go toward the charities, he added. "You buy a drink for $2 and $2 goes back to the community."

White said the charity was chosen because it benefits local kids. She called the elementary school, and they suggested Stitches of Love.

Tran said choosing charities that help kids is a corporate mission.

"We always try to focus on kids' needs in the community," he said.

The donations aren't just coming from the corporate level. The baristas chip in too. White said they volunteer that day, and their labor hours go to the charity.

The day of donations isn't anything new, Tran said. "We've had our New Year's Day tradition ongoing for about 20 years," he said.

This year the company hopes to donate $15,000 to various charities, Tran said. Last year the company raised $10,742 from the New Year's Day event. Tran said the Anchorage and Wasilla cafes will donate the day's work to Kids Kitchen and the Juvenille Diabetes Research Foundation, respectively.

Hale said the day will definitely help her organization.

"We're always looking for donations," she said.

But it'll also help local kids have something of their own.

"Often when they leave home they don't have anything," she said.

Molly Dischner can be reached at molly.dischner@peninsulaclarion.com.



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