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The Local Cup hosts second-annual Christmas caroling event

| Thursday, December 6, 2018

At The Local Cup, a hot cup of coffee means so much more when it’s been paid for by a generous neighbor.  A volunteer-run community-based coffee shop, The Local Cup contributes to Near Northwest Neighborhood, Inc., a community development corporation located in the near northwest neighborhood of South Bend. The Local Cup’s “Pay-It-Forward” model ensures that “every patron, regardless of how much they add to the jar, is welcomed and served warmly,” according to the shop’s website.

Annie Maguire, a Saint Mary’s junior, has been working at The Local Cup for three years, and said her time at the coffee shop has become more than just an after-school job.

“The Local Cup has provided a home for me in South Bend,” she said in an email. “It is an outlet for social engagement and community engagement that has changed my experience at Saint Mary’s College immensely. I am grateful and proud to be a part of the Near Northwest Community of change-makers.”

The shop’s unique payment model allows customers of all income levels to become regulars, and values meaningful interactions over business transactions, Maguire said.

“The Local Cup is a community-gathering space that provides neighbors, visitors and guests with a space to connect and share genuine, human moments with each cup of coffee,” she said. “It provides the warmth of a home to the community and offers a unique model of business that prioritizes inclusion and kindness. Each cup is brewed.”

This Saturday, for the second year in a row, The Local Cup will host a group of Christmas carolers before heading out into the surrounding neighborhood to spread some holiday spirit through song. After last year’s success, The Local Cup hopes to make its Christmas caroling an annual tradition, Maguire said.

Events such as the upcoming caroling have completely changed Maguire’s understanding of community, she said, specifically that of South Bend.

“I have never felt a [stronger] sense of belonging to a place throughout my college years,” she said. “I treasure all of the relationships I have made at TLC, and I am so grateful to have been embraced by the Near Northwest Neighborhood. I have learned so much about the history of South Bend through its wonderful community on the Near Northwest Side, as well.”

One of The Local Cup’s primary objectives is to strengthen community relations in the Near Northwest Neighborhood, and Maguire said this goal will extend into the Christmas season and beyond.

“We are community builders,” she said. “Each cup that we serve and share promotes our mission to build relationships and inspire positive change.”

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