#CaringForCommunity: Inside & Outside

#CaringForCommunity is a blog series that spotlights the work of writers, artists, or your next-door neighbors who, without being asked and without pay, carry the light in simple but meaningful ways. These are people giving back in order to lift others up. Real life examples of compassion, concern, and inspiration.


The last time I posted on #CaringForCommunity, I mentioned Tricklebee Cafe in Milwaukee, a pay-what-you-can community restaurant that serves organic, locally-sourced food. My husband and I ate there recently, and let’s just say I felt good all around, belly and soul.

For this edition of the blog series, I want to spotlight Curt’s Cafe in Evanston, IL. Curt’s Cafe is a nonprofit organization that runs along a similar philosophy, opening their doors to young people in need of compassion, acceptance, and a place to connect.

“The mission of Curt’s Cafe is to offer job skill and life skill training to highly, highly at-risk young men and young women and help them with those skills, then help them get a job and keep a job. . . . And we don’t turn anyone away, no matter what they’ve done.” ~ Susan Trieschmann, Executive Director

Watch That’s My Child (above, from Small Forces on Vimeo) about Curt’s Cafe. Checkout their website. Better yet, when in Evanston, stop in for a cup of coffee and a dose of kindness.


After you sip that coffee cup of inspiration, head home, pop a Zyrtec, and get back outside to spread more love. This time in your garden. Rebecca Straus in “Grow These 50 Pollen-Rich Plants to Help Your Local Honeybees” (Organic Life) explains:

It’s no secret honeybee populations are hurting. Colony collapse disorder, which occurs when the majority of worker bees in a hive disappear, abandoning the queen, baby bees, nurse bees, and food, is decimating hives at an astounding rate. And a shortage of honeybees can have a very real impact on our food supply. Farmers who grow crops from strawberries to squash to almonds rely on hives of traveling honeybees to pollinate their fields. No bees means no food.

I like food. So does Tricklebee, so does Curt’s. And you. Consider it #CaringForCommunity in the round, beginning on one tiny city lot and reaching well beyond.

“…one of the easiest steps you can take is to grow more plants that honeybees like to feast on for nectar and pollen. Here are the flowers, shrubs, trees, herbs, and—yes—weeds that will give honeybees (and native pollinators!) a helping hand.”

A little hay fever for a happy beehive? I say, Yes. And I bet there’s a patch of yard within eyesight that could use a little color.

Think coneflower and crocus and pretty, flowering onions.





About Christi

Christi Craig is a native Texan living in Wisconsin, working by day as a sign language interpreter and moonlighting as a writer, teacher, and editor. Her stories and essays have appeared online and in print, and she received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train's Family Matters Contest, 2010. You can send comments or questions via her contact page.
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