A Hub of Generosity

When worlds collide, energy is released. That’s why we wanted to open a coffee shop at the intersection of so many thriving sub-communities in Dallas. It would be a waste if we didn’t do something with the generative power that naturally develops when people from different worlds share the same place. At Union, we take the energy of a great coffee shop and convert it into a hub of generosity.

Since opening in November of 2012, 10% of all coffee-related sales benefit a non-profit, offering Dallas a choice on where they’d like their coffee money to go. We’re proud of that, but we don’t want to stop there.  Here’s a sample of some of what we’ve done.

HUNGER: As our first adopted cause, we raised the funds to provide 7,000+ meals and 60 volunteer hours for North Texas Food Bank. We also partnered with Mustang Heroes to raise funds and awareness for NTFB and hosted several events surrounding hunger issues in Dallas and our country.  

DISASTER-RELIEF: In the spring of 2013, we raised over $5,000 for disaster-relief efforts in New Jersey following the destructive wake of Hurricane Sandy.

CHILDHOOD LITERACY:  In the summer and fall of 2013, we raised over $2,500 for Project Transformation, a local organization that takes college students and empowers them to lead childhood literacy programs in low-income Dallas neighborhoods. We also collected children’s books and hosted several events for Project Transformation as they developed their team of all-star college interns.

 

In the summer of 2017, we raised over $4,000 for Readers 2 Leaders, a childhood literacy program in West Dallas. In addition to fundraising, we hosted the first ever Dallas Children’s Book reading contest and recruited volunteers to support their efforts.

PARTNER VIOLENCE: In 2014, we raised funds, awareness and engagement around Domestic Violence through a partnership with The Family Place. In addition to raising over $8,000 for domestic violence preventation & response, Union partnered with the agency to launch Safe on Sunday, a campaign that trained over 100 area church leaders in how to raise awareness of Domestic Violence in their congregations and respond to it in helpful ways when community members are victims, survivors or abusers. Union also partnered with Glazed Donut Works to bring donuts and coffee to all of the employees at The Family Place’s shelter, school and counseling center. Over the course of the year we mobilized over 200 volunteer hours to benefit their work.

YOUTH INCARCERATION: In 2014 and 2015, Union built on its friendship with Cafe Momentum by raising awareness and dedicating 10% of coffee sales to their work with incarcerated teens. Participants in Cafe Momentum’s program have become regulars on The Naked Stage and participated in a joint fundraiser with stories by Union favorite, Rawlins Gilliland. Through various events, Union has raised over $6,000 for Cafe Momentum‘s outstanding work at reducing the recitivism rate and increasing employment post-release for some of Dallas’ most at risk teens.

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

Union has had a long history with Mustang Heroes, SMU’s largest student-run organization. We’ve hosted major events and joined in growth strategy conversations. In 2015, Mustang Heroes leadership had a vision to engage more students in volunteerism, but did not have the funds to do so. Union adopted them as our cause and customers contributed over $4,400, providing student leadership with two years worth of funding. As a result, Mustang Heroes was able to successfully scale and mobilize 200 students every week to 4+ hours per week of community service.

GENTRIFICATION

In December of 2016, we received a phone call from our friends at Wesley Rankin Center, a non-profit agency in West Dallas that’s supported the neighborhood for nearly 100 years. “Two-hundred families are facing eviction and we don’t have the resources to help them.” Union jumped in, raising over $5,000 and substantial awareness through press releases, volunteers and conversations with every customer who came through our doors over the following three months. 

CHILDREN & THE ARTS

In the summer of 2016, Union adopted Junior Players as our cause. We hosted preview nights for major performances and partnered on programming that helped aspiring actors get to know and learn from professional Dallas actors. Customers donated over $5,000 and we rallied hundreds of attendees to Junior Players performances. 

CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

SEEK Camp provides an incredible camp experience for children with special needs. Not only did our customers donate over $2,500, but volunteers with Capes 4 Kids traveled to Bridgeport, TX and put capes on the backs of every camper. 

IN 5 YEARS, UNION CUSTOMERS HAVE DONATED OVER $50,000 TO DALLAS NON-PROFITS

OTHER WORK: In addition to our adopted causes, we do our best to care for the well-being of our neighborhood. Below is a list of some of the organizations we’ve partnered with to make a positive difference in the past couple months. If you are a part of our neighborhood and feel like we might be able to help, let us know! Shoot us an e-mail at uniondifference@gmail.com

Capes 4 Kids: Once a month we turn Union into a cape-making factory, crank out as many kid-sized capes as we can and then send them off to pediatric hospitals with a team of costumed volunteers. This idea originated by Union regulars, Cody Reynolds and Jordan Loetscher and has been built upon by the great people who hang out at Union.

Stonewall Jackson Elementary: Collected snacks and baked goods (plus airpots full of great coffee) to treat their teachers during testing weeks. Union hosts SJE’s yearly career fair by enlisting our regular customer to share their stories with neighborhood children.

Bed Start: Coordinated volunteers for six service days, picking up and delivering furniture to families in transition. Through Bed Start, we were able to support veterans, families moving out of homelessness and refugees getting a new start in the United States. We were thrilled to build a connection between Bed Start and Entrepreneurs for North Texas that strengthened both of their efforts.

Community Curator, Mike Baughman, has had the opportunity to work with some of the most incredible teens in Dallas through the Mayor's Star Council.

Mayor’s Star Council: Through Mike Baughman, Union has played a role in the Mayor’s Star Council. In addition to hosting MSC events and meetings, Union tries to provide support and encouragement to a group of outstanding teens at Madison High School in South Dallas.

Students: In addition to providing caffeine and a great place to study, Union does its best to take care of students buried in the stress of finals. Events on campus, free cookies, s’mores, dance breaks and late hours are just some of the ways we tried to provide a little extra care.

If you are interested in getting involved or have ideas on ways that Union could get involved in helping your organization make a positive difference, contact coffee@uniondallas.org