As Spiritual Formation week came to a close, APU dives into November with the theme of generosity. The communities surrounding the school have also taken up the gauntlet in demonstrating acts of kindness to those less fortunate. Among these stands out one little coffee shop by the name of Classic Coffee in Glendora with it’s particular way of participating in the giving season on Nov. 4.

By purchasing an artisan handmade coffee mug, patrons at the shop donated $15 to the Cold Weather Shelter. Lynn Hendricks, director of the art center at First Christian Church, facilitated the fundraiser, which is known as Empty Cups.

“The way that it works is that we work with local potters, the Citrus College ceramics department, students from APU and other professional potters,” Hendricks said. “They make mugs, they give them to the project, Classic Coffee sponsors the event and all the proceeds fund the food for the program.”

Hendricks added that this event is connected to the Empty Bowls project the church hosts in March.

“We started Empty Bowls about 15 years ago, and this is the third year we are doing Empty Cups,” Hendricks said. “We also fund the police department with gift cards so that if anyone is in need of emergency food relief, the police department can take care of them. To date, we have funded over 80,000 meals.”

Jonathon Lambert is the mind behind the Empty Cups project; he is both a regular attendee to First Christian Church and general manager of Classic Coffee.

“I love that we get to do it at this time of year, as it provides holiday meals as well as just regular meals, and I think that it is important to use what we have been blessed with to bless others,” Lambert said.

He also expressed that he believes people enjoy handmade mugs crafted by professional artisans and college students alike.

Lambert explained the community event aims to meet a necessity for the people the funds serve.

“It’s not just a drive for a general awareness of something; it’s filling a very specific need in your own city or area, and I think that makes it important,” Lambert said.

According to Lambert, one of the greatest things about working in a coffee shop is being able to sell something that makes getting to know others easy, which makes a fundraising event such as this one so influential and uniting.

“Coffee is a great catalyst for conversation and drawing people together,” he said. “I think that coupled with an event like this, getting to know people and being involved in their lives and have friends walk in—that’s one of the best things about working in a coffee shop.”

The next Empty Bowls event will be on Friday, March 10, 2017 from 5–8 p.m. at First Christian Church in Glendora.