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November 1, 2012

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November 1, 2012

I have served as a board memberwith Bean's Cafe for over 30 years' ,starting in the late 1970's when it occupied a small warehousey fronting on an alley. We served hot food with coffee made by re-brewing used coffee grounds from a local hotel. With the support of many people, we moved in 1985 to our present building at 3rd & Karluk, with a wonderful commercial kitchen that produces high-quality nutritious meals and consistently receives the highest health inspection ratings. When I first joined the board, Bean's was not yet a member of United Way.. I have seen it grow to a highly rated United Way agency , blessed with broad community support. Our mission remains the same-- to provide hot meals and warm day shelter to homeless people . The need is enormous and we are now serving many people who are not chronically homeless, but who have been affected by job losses in the present economy. Through Children's Lunchbox, a program of Bean's Cafe, we are now also serving nutritious meals to needy children at numerous sites around Anchorage. All this is possilble because we continue to be blessed with generous community support. Our mission remains the same -- to serve the hungry and the homeless 365 days a year, Our underlying premise, as always, is a deep belief in the dignity of every person and a dedication to treaing all out clients with kindness and respect. I am excited and proud to serve on tghe board of this wonderful organization which makes such a difference in many peoples' lives. Abbe Dunning-Newbury

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 1, 2012

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November 1, 2012

I have had several opportunities to volunteer with Beans Cafe in Anchorage, Alaska, so have had a close-up view of their staff and operations. They provide meals, resources, and some health care opportunities for people without homes in Anchorage, an environment much more of a challenge for homeless persons than where I came from in Southern California. Beans staff do an excellent job of advertising opportunities to assist them and then coordinating the event, whether it is working in their kitchen or helping sell item at a grocery store or fair to raise funds for the kitchen. They have collaborated with artists in the area for years on an annual fundraising event, the "Empty Bowl", where local artists contribute pottery art, mainly bowls, and attendees buy tickets to compete for the best artwork. All of these efforts make Bean's Cafe universally recognized in the community and a successful and ongoing resource for many of those in greatest need in our area. The most inspirational moments I have had that demonstrate the positive effects of Beans Cafe is when I have been at a venue selling items to raise money and am approached by someone who tells me "I used to eat at Beans. I'm making it on my own now. I'd like to make a donation."

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

October 26, 2012

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October 26, 2012

Beans Café is a great help to the community, they provide a place for the homeless, no matter what their situation, to acquire the most essential needs. The amazing part is that they do not pick and choose when they do this or who they will help; they have dedicated themselves 365 days a year to anyone that walks through the door in need. The staff and even their families as well as others from the community spend an immense amount of time helping these people. It is the personal sacrifices the team is willing to make that are so amazing. Even on Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years they spend time away from their homes making others more comfortable and spreading joy. They are an inspiration for everyone to stop and take a look at what we each do to help the less fortunate. The events they hold to raise funds so that they can accomplish their mission, which is “to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless without discrimination during the day,” are always enjoyable and they allow the community as a whole to participate in solving one of Anchorages most unfortunate problems. A perfect example is the Empty Bowl, there are thousands of community members that attend and join the fight against hunger. This one event helps feed, clothes, warm, and provides countless other services to hundreds of homeless people.
Beans Café takes it a step further than just feeding the homeless. They work to place the homeless in a home they can call theirs, they fight for jobs for those that need employment, provide transportation, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, legal help, medical help and they help to educate those that want it. Beans Café’s dedication to this community is undeniable and incredible. This should make everyone stop and think “What can I do or what can my company do to help Beans Café continue the amazing work they do.”

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

October 26, 2012

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October 26, 2012

The staff & volunteers at Beans Cafe make a tremendous difference in our community. As a board member I'm very proud to be involved with is organization! TOGETHER WE ALL CAN MAKE DIFFERENCE. Kim Frensley

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

July 18, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
July 18, 2011

“Any organization that serves over 313,000 free meals and provides over 35,000 medical items in one year is a monumental support to society, but Bean’s Café goes above and beyond those outstanding numbers. They’re more than just a soup kitchen; Bean’s Café actively assists those who need it with help finding jobs, medical care, housing and more. They are trusted community partners, a resource for those who need help with the most basic human necessities and a valuable asset to Alaskans – especially Alaskans in need. Credit Union 1’s partnership with this crucial non-profit has been beneficial for over a decade and we fully support them in their mission by hosting annual fundraising events like “Pour,” helping to promote and advertise for “The Empty Bowl,” and incorporating them into events like the Mountain View Street Fair whenever possible because we believe in what they do. This is a great non-profit organization and others would benefit from following their model to support their communities.”

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the clients that I have personally met and spoke with.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase our collabortion with other nonprofit organizations.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

July 13, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
July 13, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I wasn't always a board member at Bean's Cafe. Although I recently moved into a new job, I spent the last decade as a journalist in Anchorage. For years I covered Bean's cafe in the news. Mostly the good the organization was doing for the homeless community in our city. In recent years however I continually found myself reaching out to Bean's as several members of the homeless community were dying on our streets. Bean's and director Jim Crockett were always there to offer insight into the death, or even humanize the person who had passed away. It's easy to forget that homeless people have families too and stories and lives that matter. Jim made sure the public knew who the "homeless person" really was.

When the issue came to a head in the last year, our station decided to host a Town Hall on the issue and asked Jim if we could use Bean's Cafe for the live televised event. Of course he agreed and we had an extrememly successful event. But perhaps most importantly, it wasn't a room filled with lawmakers and politicians, but a room filled with people who think of Bean's as their home. They offered important and essential insight into what was happening.

When I left television a few months ago, there was no question which organization would join as a board member and I expressed as much to Jim. Not only was I committed to the mission, but as someone whose family had once faced significant financial difficulties and was forced out fo home, it is a mission near and dear to my heart.

I am now a board member and learning so much more about Bean's. I had volunteered in the kitchen several times through my church, but now I get to see a new side of Beans.

The mission is simple "Feed the hungry and shelter the homeless without discrimination during the day."

But by doing that each day Bean's offers members of the homeless community they don't get anywhere else: respect and dignity. That is perhaps the geatest gift of Bean's.

I think that Bean's is working to become more tech savy and use the web to its advantage. I agree we need some younger members on the board. Also, as funding for other non-profits gets tight, we should look to strategic partnerships to leverage opportunities for growth.

As a new board member, I hesitate to offer too many suggestions as I am still learning about the internal workings of theorganization. So far, I have been impressed with Bean's board.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

as seen in our community.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would help work with CSS to improve the "campus" of Bean's and Brother Francis Shelter and leverage that partnership. I am also hoping to help in marketing bean's and securing news coverage.

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