For many years the baristas at Kaladi Brothers Coffee shops have spent their New Year’s Day working for free and donating profits to local charities. This year Kaladi manager Amira Marey joined by baristas Amy George, Bradley Smith, Emma Brenner and Megaera Opheim, volunteered and raised nearly $1,300 to be donated to “Stitches of Love.” “It started at the stores in Anchorage with the intent of helping youth and a few years ago we decided to do it here and for a local charity and this year we choose Stitches of Love,” Amira told the Dispatch. Stitches of Love is a local group that uses their talents as seamstresses to provide handmade quilts for children. “We are a group of women who back in 2004 decided to make quilts for every child locally that goes into foster care. Since then we have been joined by so many talented ladies that we have expanded and have been able to provide quilts to other organizations like Hospice, the former Homeless shelter and lots of other places we have given multiple hundreds of quilts,” said Hale.
“Our employees love it and we never have trouble getting volunteers to work on New Year’s Day, we double our employees on shift to meet the demand our customers come in knowing what’s going on and it makes a very pleasant atmosphere and experience. The music is good and everybody has a good time. It’s become a New Year’s tradition for many of our regular customers and its fun knowing that you are doing something that benefits the community. The Kobuk location has been around for so long that it’s become part of many folks daily routine, this place belongs to them and this is where they come to visit and have their favorite beverage, it’s just part of life in Soldotna,” said Amy. The tip jar totaled some $232 according to Marey and the proceeds from the drinks made the total over $1,300 that will go to buy materials for quilts made this year by Stitches of Love.