An “oasis” is defined as something that provides refuge, relief or a pleasant contrast to its surrounding environment. The Coffee Oasis of Bremerton, WA is providing just that – a safe-haven where at-risk youth can freely participate in compassionate programs amidst the sweet aroma that is direct-trade java.Dave and Cindy Frederick originally founded the coffee business out of the idea that teens affected by the poverty-stricken areas of Bremerton should have a place to go where they could find hope and be cared about, regardless of their background or where they come from.As the years went on, The Coffee Oasis grew to accommodate more resources for street youth, including showers, laundry, clothing and food. They also began to offer youth centers, job training, mentoring, case management and shelter. This growth allowed them to open up two other locations in Port Orchard and Poulsbo, WA.As the nonprofit expanded, the Fredericks brainstormed ways their small, yet impactful organization could access the influence of their larger community to help them raise money and greater awareness of their mission.“When we participated in a larger giving event in the past, our organization was just a tiny nonprofit from Kitsap,” said Daniel Frederick, executive director at The Coffee Oasis, “then when we participated in Kitsap Great Give, supported by Give Local America, we felt like the donors were really tied to our community and we were able to stand out.”The Coffee Oasis is proof that when small organizations tap into the strength of their entire community, it can move mountains for their cause.“A giving day creates a terrific portal for people to find out about your organization,” said Frederick, “We received many new donors who said they had heard about us before but hadn’t taken the time to really find out what we do. The giving day site made it easy for them to search for organizations and read about what [they do] and then make a donation.”With the resources and support provided by Give Local America, The Coffee Oasis was able to see results that were four times greater than what they expected – and it wasn’t just about the dollars. The Coffee Oasis also saw a lot of new donors who had discovered them through the event by researching what they did and making a donation.The Great Give Kitsap was able to bring its community together in a visible way that had never been done before, and helped organizations like The Coffee Oasis raise awareness for the honorable work they were doing in the community.“There was no sense of rivalry – instead everyone was in it together. If you gained from it, then I gained from it too; it built common ground [between the organizations],” said Frederick.The concentrated efforts of local communities under the national umbrella of Give Local America, like those of Great Give Kitsap, can bring unparalleled benefits to small nonprofits that they would have otherwise not had through simply fundraising on their own.“For us, it’s a no brainer. Other people are doing the work and your mission gets to benefit.
Give Local America multiplies your efforts,” said Frederick.When asked why giving locally was important to them, Frederick said, “I don’t think you can love from a distance. A giving day provides the opportunity to give where your heart is—tying the donor to their community in a transformative way. They become the change in their community, and that’s a powerful relationship. So many people drive in and out of a place and aren’t connected. An event like this allows them to tangibly express their love for the place they live. They become more connected to their community when they can see the direct impact from their donation.”After all, the entire reason The Coffee Oasis was founded was to aid in the youth development for Kitsap’s local at-risk neighborhoods.“The kids that come through our organization don’t think that anyone cares for them. And people don’t think that those kids care about the community. The truth is that you have a chance to make a difference. If you invest where you live, it allows you to open yourself to be the change, to make the change and to support the awesome work that is done in your community,” said Frederick.