By Lane Riley
CBFSC Associate Coordinator
Hope steamed from coffee cups in Allendale County as citizens, law enforcement and National Guard representatives gathered for conversation recently.
The Allendale Rural Arts Team (ART) hosted a “Coffee & Hope” event outside Emma’s House in Allendale in hopes of brewing positive communication within the community.
More than 30 people attended the event. They came together verbally while staying socially distant physically. A newly-established business—The Finicky Bean— brewed the coffee for the event.
“I was very pleased,” said organizer Lottie Lewis. “It was a pleasant gathering. People asked questions of our law enforcement and gave suggestions as well.”
The reasoning behind the gathering was simple—improve communication.
“We are afraid of each other because we don’t know each other,” Lewis told the crowd using a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “We don’t know each other because we don’t talk to each other.”
“This event was an opportunity for us to talk to each other…and we did,” she said.
She said the team got the idea from a visit that ART members made to Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, in August 2019. A video of that visit can be found on YouTube.
Lewis (an Allendale Town Council member) said law enforcement and council members meet informally over coffee after council sessions. “We have one goal—to improve our community. With conversation, we have understanding and hope for a brighter future.”
“We have one goal—to improve our community. With conversation, we have understanding and hope for a brighter future.”