Posted by: William | November 24, 2007

Giving Away Coffee

            The madness of Black Friday has come and gone; I believe the madness of ever following day has been sufficiently ushered in. The past three years before this one, I stood outside Best Buy all night and then eventually bought a whole bunch of crap just because it was cheap. This year though a small group of people and I had a different idea. We decided to pool together some of our unallocated tithe money to try and love people in a tangible way. So, we went to Dunkin Donuts and bought about 14 gallons of hot coffee.

First we went to the Best Buy near my house. There were about 350 people there at 3:00AM. We started handing out coffee; most people gave us “what’s the catch” looks, a few people gratefully accepted the coffee, and a few people snarled at us. We weren’t there for 15 minutes before we were thrown out. Apparently, there was a charity that had arranged to sell coffee in that specific location; we were stealing their business. So I donated some money to their cause and we went on our way. Of course we still had 12 gallons of Coffee to give away, so we headed over to the nearby Wal-Mart. There were about 150 people outside waiting. By this time, our friend had arrived with 10 cups of hot chocolate to give away. These went almost immediately. Once we’d given out what we could at Wal-Mart, we headed out to Annapolis.

Circuit City was the first on our list. We found around 250 people waiting in line. I’m not sure if they actually were colder than everyone else, but they sure acted like it. We went through the line, starting at the front, and gave out coffee (then a few dozen donuts we had in the car) A lot more people accepted our offer (especially with the donuts), but a lot of people asked if we were with Circuit City, or with Dunkin Donuts. We, of course said neither. At first we had issues with being bold in speaking to people. It was easy to hand a person a cup of coffee; it was hard to say your soul is in eternal danger. After we’d more or less gotten over ourselves we had logistical issue; how do we make handing them coffee into a verbal acknowledgment of the Gospel? That, I’m not sure we ever really bridged, but we tried a few different approaches, none of which lead to especially fruitful conversations (or at least as far as my limited understanding goes).

With about 6 gallons of coffee left we went to a second Best Buy location, which didn’t have a fund raiser for us to sabotage. We ran out of cups with three gallons of coffee to go. But there were a few practical lessons learned from our adventure:

1. People like hot chocolate way more than coffee.

2. Even more people like donuts; barring the plain cake kind.

3. We should always check to see if there’s a fund raiser going on before we go and accidentally undermine it.

4. Don’t forget to give out stirring devices.

We didn’t have any profound conversations about Christ. In fact, our timidity and unpreparedness to talk made pretty sure of that. I do not consider it waste of time (or money) though. Besides the tangible understanding of what happened, there is a spiritual realm I can’t see and I’m certain God is working and maybe if it’s His will, somehow he’ll use our efforts. I do think that the next time we do something like, by the grace of God, I’ll be more bold to use Jesus’ name when answering questions.

Finally when we were all out of supplies, I of course, went into Best Buy and spent too much money. I mean, it couldn’t be the holidays if I didn’t, right? So, Anybody want to buy my old computer monitor?

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Sounds like a great off-the-wall idea. You never know what seeds may have been planted.

  2. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  3. Yeah, I’m hoping for the best! 🙂

  4. Thats very brave and awesome of you!
    people will remember your kindness. remember, it takes relationships to form before one is able to tell of Jesus’ relationship with you.
    don’t be too hard on yourself if you didn’t speak the gospel. God know what you did and He knows your heart!
    Be Blessed!
    The Home Engineer

  5. Thanks for the encouragement! I will try to remember that.

  6. […] the full story here Author Paul Bean Comments […]

  7. […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptCircuit City was the first on our list. We found around 250 people waiting in line. I’m not sure if they actually were colder than everyone else, but they sure acted like it. We went through the line, starting at the front, … […]

  8. […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptThe past three years before this one, I stood outside Best Buy all night and then eventually bought a whole bunch of crap just because it was cheap. This year though a small group of people and I had a different idea. … […]

  9. 35 CUPS of HOT COCOA

    not asking for brownie points, just merely adjusting the typo

    i will not accept any form of brownie points

  10. wat the hell is black fri. ???

  11. […] here to […]

  12. haha, black friday is technically the first shopping day of the Christmas season. The big retail stores open up that morning with some really huge sales and people line up outside to make sure they get in on the “savings.”

  13. […] here for full story No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. […]

  14. your creativity & innovative spirit is g…r…e…a…t…!

    sounds like you tend to do more in life than to just vegetate & take!

  15. I read a book about you guys a couple of years before you existed. Conspiracy of Kindness: A Unique Approach to Sharing the Love of Jesus by Steve Sjogren. I have it at home somewhere I’ll try to dig it up.

    I heard “Black Friday” got its name because it is on the Friday following Thanksgiving that most US retailers move from operating in the RED (running a LOSS) to operating in the BLACK. It is an American phenom.

  16. really what is it?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: