ComeUnity Café is a “pay what you can” non-profit restaurant that serves organic, homegrown and nutritious meals. Steve and Amy Crenshaw founded it in the fall of 2013. They have only four paid employees, and all other workers are volunteer-based.
The café is different from others in the area since they operate on donations or volunteer work. Everyone has the opportunity to eat at ComeUnity Café, and if someone can’t pay, they can work one hour for a meal. Individuals also have the opportunity to wash their clothes in the downstairs laundry room after two hours’ work.
For a few hours each week, one women’s quads RA will take two to five residents to volunteer at the café. They will be preparing food, washing dishes and enjoying fellowship with customers.
“As residence life leaders, it’s important to spread our focus not only on campus, but out into Jackson,” said Erin Allen, senior social work major and RA. “I love when two ministries can collide and benefit one another.”
During Allen’s time as an intern at the Child Advocacy Center in downtown Jackson, she and her co-workers visited the café weekly.
“It’s awesome to see an environment where everyone is loved and welcomed,” said Allen.
Julie Martin, sophomore nursing major and RA, is thankful for the opportunity to foster a fun and safe environment where students can serve alongside their RA and peers.
“Jackson has done so much for us in times of tragedy, times when our students didn’t have a place to lay their head, much less a warm meal,” said Martin.”People stepped up, they showed Christ’s love, and this is a chance for us to pay it forward.”
Rachel Carver, sophomore nursing major and RA, is looking forward to offering a helping hand at ComeUnity Café.
“I’m excited to work with this incredible ministry they’ve started,” said Carver “And it’s great to know that they can rely on us to have regular volunteers.”
The partnership begins this week and will continue throughout the rest of the year.
Cari Phillips, ComeUnity Café’s urban garden manager said the café is thankful for so many volunteers.
“We can’t function without the consistent help of community members,” said Phillips.
In addition to dining and volunteer opportunities, the café also offers catering services and job training. For more information about ComeUnity Café and how you and your organization can get involved, visit comeunitycafe.org.
“If you are thinking about volunteering, come! Our website says you have to wear a hat, but you don’t,” Phillips said “You really don’t. So please don’t go out and buy a hat.”