[caption id="attachment_349433" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo courtesy of The Hub[/caption]
Since the Volunteer Center of Washington County (VCWC) launched The Hub in February, the new West Bend coffee shop has raised over $5,600 in tips that are donated to a local charity or nonprofit organization each week.
The cafe, located at 303 Water St., is run solely by volunteers who have logged almost 1,400 hours since it opened. VCWC, which partners with 50 area nonprofits including Casa Guadalupe, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Kettle Moraine Symphony, started the concept as a way to build community and promote volunteerism.
"People are not volunteering in the same way that they did in the past," Sue Millin, executive director of VCWC said. "They are aligning with causes, not organizations. Sixty percent of nonprofit agencies say they will need to depend more on volunteers in upcoming years to support their missions. We've been finding creative ways to get people involved."
On May 19, The Hub will host a grand opening event from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., which will feature live music and art, free coffee and samples, and giveaways and raffles.
"This is a place to peak people's interest in volunteering," Millin said. "If all they can do is buy a latte, they'll know those $5 is supporting the nonprofits we work with."
The Hub is open Tuesday through Sunday, serving Milwaukee-based Stone Creek Coffee and Rishi Tea, smoothies, fresh juices, and kombucha. It also serves pastries from Milwaukee-based Wild Flour Bakery, and soup from Wauwatosa-based Wisconsin Soup Company. Millan said everything inside the cafe-- furniture, equipment, decor, retail products-- are all donated by local businesses or community partners.