The popular nonprofit cafe where everyone eats regardless of their ability to pay will celebrate its fifth anniversary at the end of November.
The cafe’s annual free Thanksgiving meal for the community is set for Wednesday, Nov. 21, and this year will mark exactly five years since the first meal was served at One Acre.
The free holiday luncheon will be served from 11 a.m.-2 p.m, and will be the first of two anniversary celebrations to which the community is invited.
From 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov 27, One Acre will host a drop-in birthday party with hors d’oeuvres, birthday cake, music and door prizes to thank the community and to celebrate and build on everything it has accomplished.
Executive Director Michelle Watts said the party “is One Acre Cafe’s way to say thank you for all of the support received over the last five years,” and all interested are encouraged to attend.
The cause to celebrate, she said, is that “One Acre Café has been and will continue to be a community restaurant where anyone, regardless their ability to pay, can get a warm, healthy meal. The community, donors, and volunteers have made One Acre Café the valuable resource it is today, and the organization will continue to serve all those who walk through their doors.”
Since December 2013, One Acre has served 21,152 meals to volunteers who work at the café and provided 11,380 meals to children throughout the community through its Kids Eat Free program. Recently and also quiet significantly, Watts said, “in one of those quiet moments, with no pomp and circumstance, we realized we had reached over 100,000 meals served.
“We were so humbled to think what we, as a community, have done together,” she said.
From its beginning, community building has been large part of the cafe’s mission.
“In the five years that we have been here, we have seen many opportunities to minister to those who are in need. We feed those that need nourishment physically, emotionally and mentally,” Watts said.
“ We welcome everyone with open arms and open hearts. Each unique person that walks through our doors then becomes part of our family. We get invested in their lives and sometimes we lose them for various reasons and then we hurt. Supporting each other through these times is what family is all about. We lift each other up. We lighten the load for each other.”
To continue and grow the cafe’s programs, One Acre Café is running a five-week campaign to raise $5,000 in recognition of its fifth anniversary.
“Imagine if each of our 5,419 Facebook followers made a $5 donation, we could raise over $27,000. Just look at what a difference $5 makes,” Watts said.
Donations to the campaign may be made at the cafe at 603 W. Walnut St. or online at www.oneacrecafe.org. More information about the cafe and the upcoming anniversary events is available at the website and at One Acre Cafe page on Facebook, or may be obtained by contact Michelle Watts at 423-483-0517 or [email protected]
Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.