Giving Tuesday is what the holidays are all about

You have experienced Black Friday and Cyber Monday but are you enjoying Giving Tuesday? The holiday season can be full of too much busyness, shopping and parties that we forget what the season is all about.

The celebration of Thanksgiving and of Christmas has been marginalized with consumerism. We shop. We buy. And, we are rewarded with bigger and better deals if we leave our family and friends to shop some more. What happened to the spirit of giving? What happened to slowing down and celebrating with thanks?

Giving Tuesday is a response to consumerism and it meets the needs of the less fortunate in our community. Giving Tuesday places the focus on giving not on getting. I hope you take the time to find a charity or nonprofit that can be a recipient of a financial gift this season.

If you would like to give to an organization that serves foster children, foster families and former foster youth then check out Covenant Community Services and Covenant Coffee. Go to

Abuse inside foster care system is horrific

News came out this morning of an incident of child abuse and neglect inside the foster care system. This is appalling. It is horrible that a child is ever abused or neglected.  It is shocking and horrific when a child is abused or neglected in a system that is supposed to bring stability and safety.

The first story that came across my news feed was the agonizing tale of abuse in Las Vegas by a purported expert and author. The abuse spanned many years and the details are similar to torture in war. Here is a link to that story: Foster Care Author accused of Child Abuse.

Abuse and neglect claimed the life of 1,545 children in 2011 and 1,640 in 2012. Think about that statistic! If you were to fill a school bus with 40 children in each bus, it would take over 40 bus loads to equal the number of children that perish at the hands of evils related to abuse and neglect. That is shocking. One child death is too many.

In 2012, 686,000 children were victims of child abuse and neglect in the United States. These children represent the shattered lives and broken bones of many children that, unfortunately, go unreported. Sadly, the efforts of government to protect children is failing. But, we must remember it was never the governments job in the first place. (Click here for the full 2012 Child Abuse Maltreatment Report)

Abuse and neglect happens every day in your neighborhood and your community. You are the answer to the question of “how can we protect the children?” You are the voice that can shout out for help. You are the one that can stand in the gap and request an investigation. You are hope!

Please be an advocate for life and for children. Take on the task to be vigilant and report. You may save a life.  It is extremely easy to sit back in judgment and shame those that fight in the field of child welfare. It is easy to take “pot-shots” at foster parents, social workers, lawyers, the system and so on. It is easy but wrong. Get involved. Be the hope!

Please read the following fact sheet from the Administration for Children and Families regarding recognizing abuse and neglect and being involved in the solution.

If you would like to discuss being part of the solution in Kern County, California, please contact Covenant Community Services, Inc. and ask about mentoring, foster care, transitional housing or any of the services Covenant offers foster children, former foster youth and foster families.


Covenant Coffee Launches at Bakersfield Racquet Club

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Bar seating at the new Covenant Coffee location  (Photo credit: HQofHope)

Covenant Coffee will launch a new restaurant at the Bakersfield Racquet Club.  The new venture is a partnership between two existing nonprofit organizations that hopes to revitalize the neighborhood, the tennis club and the lives of former foster youth. It all begins this Friday.

The partnership developed out of discussions as encouraged by local community members and the Bakersfield Racquet Club (BRC) Board.  The mission and vision of Covenant Community Services, Inc., the nonprofit parent company of Covenant Coffee, excited the BRC team to further talks. After a visit to the existing Covenant Coffee operation in Oildale, CA., the entourage from BRC nodded to give Covenant a chance at the historic tennis club.

Covenant Coffee is excited to partner with BRC and views BRC as a mentor in sustainability of a nonprofit through many generations. BRC was founded in 1948 by Lake Lovelace. Lovelace founded the club as a place where people could enjoy tennis. From the beginning the club has been centered around family, welcoming children of all ages. But BRC also has a history of champions. Jack Lynch, Louise Snow, Sally Moore Huss, Dennis Ralston, Marianne Werdel Witmeyer, Camille Benjamin, Hank Pfister, and numerous talented junior players, grew up at BRC. Covenant Coffee is excited to write a new chapter of history as a quality food service provider at BRC. Together, Covenant and BRC desire to help former foster youth become “champions” in living and to develop a rich, safe and joyous family history.

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Covenant food service training (Photo credit: HQofHope)

Covenant Coffee, a social enterprise of Covenant Community Services, Inc. (Covenant),  was developed to train, employ and mentor former foster youth in basic work skills, food services and the specialty coffee industry.  Covenant Coffee provides “hope in a cup” as they meet the development needs of 18-24 year old youth that have exited the foster care system in Kern County.

The new Covenant Coffee Cafe will employ former foster youth trained by the existing Covenant team. Covenant has operated the coffee-house in Oildale, CA. since May of 2012. The expansion of services to BRC was needed to create more employment and training opportunities. With the addition of the Covenant Cafe at BRC, Covenant will employ between 5 and 10 new foster youth staff to handle the needs of the tennis club membership, day-to-day operations, catering and special events.

The downtown location has been a requested move by the faithful Covenant Coffee customers. Many existing customers dreaded the drive to Oildale and welcome a retail location closer to the center of Bakersfield where they can purchase their freshly roasted specialty coffee. As Bakersfield’s premier coffee roaster, Covenant provides a variety of responsibly sourced single origin coffees. Each coffee is tasted and sampled by Covenant Coffee staff to create a roasting profile that accentuates the natural characteristic of each coffee region and bean. This attention to detail has resulted in unique coffees and a demanding customer base in Bakersfield. With a move to a central location, Covenant hopes to expand the sales of retail bags.

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Freshly roasted Covenant Coffee (Photo credit: HQofHope)

One unique aspect of Covenant Coffee is the complete mission and charitable focus. As a nonprofit, every dollar received by Covenant Coffee helps to fulfill the mission of “serving abused and neglected children with hope and love”. Although the former foster youth served in the Covenant Coffee social enterprise are no longer children, they are directly connected to mission through their history in the system. The slogan #everytwopounds was created to emphasize the connection between the purchasing dollar and the mission. For every two pounds of coffee sold, Covenant is able to train and employ a former foster youth for one hour!

Covenant Coffee and the BRC team have been scrambling since signing the agreement. The hiring and training of new staff, remodel of the facility, and training has been fast-forwarded to enthusiastically and optimistically open by Friday, March 7, 2014. Beginning March 7, 2014 and running through March 16, 2014, BRC will host the Bakersfield Tennis Open, a United States Tennis Association Pro Circuit Futures Event. According to BRC, The Three-Way Chevrolet-Cadillac Bakersfield Tennis Open will be the largest men’s professional tennis event in Bakersfield since the Davis Cup was held at the Bakersfield Racquet Club back in 1965, and will attract top-level players of today from around the United States, Europe and Asia. Covenant Coffee will be there waiting!

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Channel 23 News at BRC (Photo credit: HQofHope)

Covenant Coffee has expressed thanksgiving and appreciation for the amazing generosity and kindness provided in Kern County. It is only by the support of local individuals, families, businesses, churches and organizations that Covenant exists and fulfills the mission. Once again, the community has stepped up to create opportunities for Covenant to train and employ former foster youth. Lives will be changed, meals and good times will be shared, and history will march forward as Covenant Coffee opens at BRC.

About Covenant Coffee:

Covenant Coffee is a wholesale and retail green bean coffee roaster with you, the consumer, in mind. Every time you enjoy a freshly roasted cup of Covenant Coffee, we want you to know it was roasted “on purpose” and “for a purpose”. We roast coffee beans “on purpose” as a means to help former foster youth find success from shattered and broken backgrounds. We roast coffee beans “for a purpose” as a way to help you enjoy life. Plainly stated, we roast coffee beans so you don’t have to drink an inferior cup of coffee! Covenant Coffee … freshly roasted, handcrafted coffee from the coffee farm, to the coffee roaster, to your coffee cup!



Hope Lives Here! Restoring Lives and Transforming Generations