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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Beans Cafe Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Shelters, Human Services

Mission: PROVIDE MEALS, TEMPORARY SHELTER, SOCIAL SERVICES AND REFERRAL SERVICES TO HOMELESS AND INDIGENT INDIVIDUALS RESIDING IN SOUTHCENTRAL ALASKA

Programs: Provide meals, temporary shelter, social services and referral services to homeless and indigent individuals residing in southcentral alaska

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a kid, my mom and I used to drop off leftover food to Bean's Café from spaghetti dinners and other school functions. The simple idea that those of us who have extra resources should lend a hand has stuck with me as I have grown up. Now I have volunteered both in the Bean's Café kitchen and admin offices. The staff are incredibly hard workers and they treat everyone - donors, volunteers, and clients alike - with dignity and respect. A fun place to volunteer and an extremely important need in our community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Beans Cafe tries so hard to provide for those less fortunate and in need. They are truly making a difference in the Anchorage community. From great staff to wonderful volunteers, Beans Cafe has always found a way to care and provide to those better than any organization I have ever seen. Thank you to all of you who work so hard everyday to make a change for the better for all of those who cannot do it themselves!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

From providing us with willing workers when our employees don't show up for work (some remain on as permanent employees) to thinking up creative ways (like the Empty Bowl Project) to involve so many facets of our community to lend a helping hand. Beans is a vital part of my community and will always hold a special place in my heart.

1 Margaret16

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Beans Cafe does more for the Anchorage community as a whole because it will use all means possible to ensure all of its clients have the best possible food, care and essentials. They offer care and meals to a very diverse population and perform above and beyond for the recipients.

1 Vincent3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

NEED TO PAID MININUM WAGES FOR WORKERS. VOUCHERS OR OTHER BENEFITS CAN USEFUL. UNCLE VINNIE FOR US.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Beans Cafe in 2009 in the kitchen. The kitchen staff has been wonderful to work with and they genuinely care about the food that they prepare for the people in need. I try to help out whenever I get an opportunity. Most recently, I had the opportunity to work in the office. Ken Miller and the WONDERFUL ladies who work in the office are always working to raise funds for the cause. They are always very appreciative of all the help given to Beans Cafe. I loved every moment working with them. The Pour was great. Looking forward to volunteering with them again.

1 Daniel Garcia

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a homeless client of Beans Cafe. The food and care they provided for me was all I needed to get back on my feet. I now work here as an employee and am happy for the opportunity to give to my community.

2 Sally29

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Bean's Cafe is fantastic! They are well organized and effective. They do so much more than serve good to Anchorage-area folks in need...they have creative programs like that foot care program to give new clean socks and footwear and therapuetic foot massage and health treatment in the winter time, when Anchorage homeless are in desparate need of warm, dry clothing and attention to their feet. Bean's does amazing fundraisers that promote education and awareness in addition to raising financial support for their services. I particularly appreciate their attitude toward helping others...they do not look down on anyone or try to judge people against a moral standard. They don't discriminate, and they try to care for people while also empowering them.

1 Louis C.

Donor

Rating: 5

Beans Cafe is my favorite place to donate and I hope to get the opportunity to work with them as a volunteer in the near future. For me there is nothing like a direct contribution to the community. These guys do a great service to the community and I know that all of my donation is being put to good use!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Bean's Cafe has that rare combination of an amazing and selfless staff, a committed Board of Directors, generous in both time and treasure, and a deep pool of volunteers quick to respond when help is needed. Bean's Cafe enjoys a community which (largely) supports the mission of Bean's, as demonstrated by the hundreds of turkeys and side dishes donated for Bean's annual Thanksgiving feast. While still thought of as a soup kitchen for the homeless, today's reality is somewhat different. Many of Bean's clients are Alaska's working poor, struggling to keep a roof over their heads, their kids in school and hunger from their doorstep. Bean's mission has broadened in recent years. Bean's now serves an overflow shelter when temperatures plunge and our neighbor, The Brother Francis Shelter's demand exceeds its capacity. Bean's "The Children's Lunchbox" has a mission of 'feeding hungry kids in a safe community environment!". Children's Lunchbox has served nearly 240,000 meals to hungry kids in 2012, up from less than 100,000 in 2010. To learn more about Bean's Cafe and its programs, visit beans cafe.org and thechildrenslunchbox.org. While you're there, why not "Donate Online". Thanks.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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."

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.”

Comments ( 1 )

profile

kmiller2 10/31/2012

Thank you for the wonderful comment from all of us at Bean's Cafe.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

Board Member

Rating: 5

“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.”

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 4

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.

Review from Guidestar