Drink coffee, fight poverty

Anne-Marie Colant

Coffee and community service go hand in hand during the month of March at Scribbles Coffee. It has partnered with ARM (Anonymous Relief Mission) and Paint Nite, a company that offers groups the chance to mix paint, socializing and drinking, to sell paintings displayed on the wall of the coffee shop. ARM is a local non-profit organization that helps homeless people, mainly veterans, furnish their living spaces. This spring, it is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Jenn Richards, co-owner of Scribbles, spoke about the partnership.  

“Usually veterans can get government assistance to rent an apartment,” Richards said. “But they don’t have money to fill the space.”

Fellow co-owner Beth Budzar and Richards wanted to give people a concrete way to serve.

“We switch the art in here once a month anyway and like to help local (patrons),” Richards said. “It was the perfect match.”

Scott Budzar, founder of ARM and also a co-owner of Scribbles, has worked with displaced veterans in Portage County and wanted to do more to assist them.

“I worked full-time for the homeless shelter for veterans in Portage County for years,” he said. “I became a good resource for these places.”

Budzar met Melissa Deutsch, the head of Paint Nite, at an ARM volunteer event. From there, their partnership began. 

“With the coffee shop and paintings, we can make the (homeless veteran) cause known,” Budzar said.

Students on campus like seeing the partnership between local shops and causes that support veterans. Collin Czehut, a senior applied engineering major at Kent State, expressed his enthusiasm about the partnerships.

“It’s very neat to see downtown businesses help out veterans,” said Czehut.

Anne-Marie Colant is a business and neighborhoods reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].