New Year's coffee program raises $26,620 for charities

Mike Dunham

Kaladi Brothers Coffee's New Year's Day Giving program raised $26,620 on Jan. 1. Most of the money will go to a local meals program run by Bean's Cafe.

In a long-running tradition, baristas volunteered to work for tips on that day and all sales from drinks went to a charity selected by employees. This year, $12,604 was raised from customers in Anchorage and Wasilla, about $1,000 more than last year, said Dale Tran, Kaladi's chief operating officer. That money, which included cash received in donation jars at the stores, was matched by a donation from the Alaska subsidiary of the Shell oil company. The charity, called The Children's Lunchbox, will receive a total of $25,208 as a result.

Stores in Soldotna and Seattle selected their own local charities. In Soldotna, $885 was raised for Emergency Services Inc., a non-profit association of Soldotna firefighters. The money will be used for Soldotna's Shop with a Firefighter program where local children are given a $100 budget to purchase gifts.

The Seattle Kaladi store raised $533 for America Scores Seattle, an organization committed to helping elementary school students from under-served communities. It was the first time that the Seattle shop has participated in the program, Tran said.

The match from Shell Alaska applied only to the Anchorage and Wasilla program.

Reach Mike Dunham at or 257-4332.