A New Jersey megachurch recently opened a cafe that donates its proceeds to clean water efforts and creates employment opportunities for individuals with special needs.
Liquid Church in New Jersey officially opened the Clean Water Cafe earlier this week. Proceeds from sales at the cafe will go to clean water efforts for overseas communities.
Brooke Stempert, the communications manager for Liquid Church, said the café is “the marriage of two causes that are near and dear to us at Liquid Church.”
“Locally, the Clean Water Café will provide inclusive, supportive employment for all adults, including those with special needs such as Autism, Down syndrome and many others,” Stempert said.
“Then, as a nonprofit, all proceeds from the café will help provide clean water to those in need in Africa and Central America. Clean water is our global cause at Liquid Church, and through the café, we hope to increase our impact to provide clean water to those who need it most.”
The cafe was initially slated to open in early 2020, but the global pandemic postponed those plans, The Christian Post reports.
The church has a ministry for individuals with special needs and annually hosts a “Night to Shine” prom and a Buddy Program where every child with special needs is assigned a buddy who is with them from fifth grade through high school.
“In general, the church is 30 years behind culture when it comes to special needs. They don’t have the manpower and muscle even if they’re passionate about it,” Liquid Church Lead Pastor Tim Lucas said in 2020.
“What happened at Liquid was, millennials stepped up and said, ’We understand inclusion,’ so most of our buddy volunteers are in their 20s and 30s.”
Stempert said the Clean Water Cafe is a way to provide reliable employment and training for individuals with special needs.
“At the Clean Water Cafe, we believe that people with Special Needs can change the world for good,” Stempert added. “We hope that our customers and supporters realize that as they enjoy their favorite coffee, they are changing the world with every sip.”
Photo courtesy: Alesia Kazantceva/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.