In some coffee shops in Europe and the United States there is a model that has been widely accepted and seeks to help those most in need. The system is simple: customers buy a drink and leave another cup for delivery to people who do not have money to buy hot coffee. Although it is not mandatory, many join this social campaign simply because they know they have done something positive for someone who needs it.
A similar model arrived in Colombia a year ago. In Medellin, in the Laureles neighborhood, a small cafe opened the doors for its customers to enjoy a free drink and donate what their heart dictates. If they do not have money it does not matter, a thank you, a smile and a see you later are enough payment. Like a glass of water, a chai tea or a macaccino is not denied to anyone.
The name of this place is New Hearts Café, a place where anyone can sit down to have a pleasant time and, if you want, help the social work of this non-profit business. 100% of the profits of the coffee are destined to a foundation of the Niquitao sector , which meets the needs of nearly 200 low-income children.
Lucas Mesa, administrator and one of the promoters of this project, assures that the idea of creating a coffee of these characteristics was born three years ago, but only last year was able to materialize, thanks to the sponsorship of an American friend and a church that She felt identified with the goal of New Hearts . According to the account, to date, at least 150 people arrive every day at the café and now they hope to open a new branch before the end of the year.
“The name of this café says it all. We want people to drink a drink of the highest quality, look inside and donate what your heart feels at that moment to help the foundation. We do not handle money. There is a mailbox where people deposit their donation and we take everything to the children. The success of this coffee is the well-being that people feel when they know they are helping someone. Many of those who work here are volunteers who once came as clients, “says Lucas.
The goal of New Hearts is to change hearts: renew them, purify them, cleanse selfishness and call for solidarity. Although it is not a religious space, Luke says that the true owner of this business is God, and the only one with the power to really change a heart is Jesus . Perhaps, thanks to this thought, this cafe has one of its most valuable allies in a Christian church. As all the New Hearts produced is for the foundation, the products needed for its operation are sponsored by this benefactor.
Lucas remembers the beginnings of New Hearts Café as a meeting between friends thinking about what to do for a better world. Several ideas were in the range of possibilities and finally decided to merge all in one place that, in a certain way, help to bring out the best in each person: generosity.
They were clear about the concept and the objective, but they did not know what kind of business to aim for. After several meetings, seeing the growth of the coffees, they focused all their efforts on adapting a house of 850 square meters. When the coffee was opened, as defined by Lucas, the place was not as well equipped as today, but with the passing of the days they became known among the passers-by of the sector and little by little they changed their faces until they became one of the most visited spaces of Laureles.
“This place is not just a cafe. Here friends gather. We have a library, a video game room, an auditorium, a computer room and a magnificent terrace, among other things. Maintaining this site costs roughly $ 17 million a month, but thanks to our sponsors we do not have to take anything out of the profits to sustain us, “he said.
Given the good acceptance of this coffee, administrators are thinking of opening a new store in the El Poblado neighborhood. They already have a place, but at the moment they do not have the resources to adapt it to the same standards as the original coffee.
This model, worth emulating in other cities, is a sign that giving without expecting anything in return is possible in a society like the Colombian one. Projects like New Hearts are a clear example that true well-being is in the joy of helping those who need it, not just a good cup of coffee.