June 30, 2016

Mostly clear

Nonprofit seeks its own cup of charity

Cups Cafe , a nonprofit group that offers help to at-risk teenagers and whose message is, “serving hope, one cup at a time,” needs a little hope of its own.

The cafe is trying to raise $50,000 by June 21 to buy the building it now rents at 126 N. Court St., Medina, which is up for auction at 11 a.m. June 26.

Cafe executive director Tim Van Arsdale said that after he put a call out for donations on the cafe’s website and on Facebook, he raised $10,000 in just two days.

Cups Cafe volunteer Linda Bjorklund smiles as she stirs a pot of soup Monday. The building that houses the nonprofit Christian cafe, which offers food free to those who need it, is up for auction at the end of June because it has been foreclosed. The cafe leases the space and is trying to buy the building at 126 N. Court St., Medina. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY KIERA MANION-FISCHER)

“We’re trying to position ourselves to buy the property,” he said. “If we get outbid, we’ll relocate.”

The building was foreclosed after the owner “fell on hard times,” Van Arsdale said.

“We have no hard feelings against him,” he said.

At the auction, the minimum opening bid will be $130,000, and Van Arsdale said the cafe would get a commercial loan to finance the total amount.

The cafe opened in November 2007 and offers coffee, tea and food free to all those who need it. It also serves up a Christian message, but Van Arsdale said they aren’t pushy about it.

“If someone comes in, they’re hungry,” the cafe fulfills that need first, he said.

The cafe is not affiliated with a specific church and instead partners with several.

“We wanted to bring all the churches together,” Van Arsdale said.

The cafe is open to all, but specifically targets at-risk teenagers who might not have a place to hang out after school, Van Arsdale said. The pool table in the back, comfy chairs and friendly volunteers contribute to a cozy atmosphere.

The cafe served about 70 guests a day in the spring.

The cafe will have a fundraiser Saturday, which will include a bake sale, cookout, car wash, face-painting and balloon art noon to 4 p.m. in its parking lot. All proceeds will benefit the cafe’s building fund drive.

For more information on how to donate, visit the cafe’s website at www.cupscafe.org or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cupscafe.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.