From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 11 through Nov. 13, the Abbé Society held the annual Good Cause Café in the Sykes ballrooms. The Good Cause Café, a charity book and bake sale, raised $2,300 for Chester County’s Project ONE.
Upon walking into Sykes ballrooms during Monday’s setup, it was quickly apparent that the Good Cause Café was a complex affair. With around a dozen tables set up and hundreds of books to sort by genre, the volunteers had their work cut out for them.
No matter what manpower such a fundraiser takes to organize, the Good Cause Café was a welcoming event. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, students were able to stream into the ballrooms and look at books.
Books ranged from twenty-five cents to two dollars. There were nonfiction books, mysteries, novels, children’s books, bestsellers, religious books, and more. The bake sale included fudge, brownies, cookies, and more.
Nearly sixty volunteers set up the event and worked it from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Thursday. On Friday, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., volunteers helped to pack up the remaining books. The Abbé Society volunteers also put in additional work organizing book pickups.
The Abbé Society, an organization on campus dedicated to community service, has been the mastermind behind the event for the past two years. Before then, the Office of Service Learning ran the event for around 12 years to support Project ONE.
Sarah Walker, a junior, was the official chair of the event this year. She reached out to faculty and staff, students, and local bookstores for donations for the event.
When asked what her experience as chair was like, Sarah said, “It has honestly been one of the most gratifying things I have ever done, getting to meet so many people from our community who are willing to help out with such a great project. It was very inspiring to have so many volunteers come out to help and to experience all of the support that faculty, staff, and student organizations have given to this event.”
Circle K, Alpha Phi Omega, NSSHLA, the Honors Student Association, the Friar’s Society, and many other organizations also volunteered.
While several volunteers worked the check-out tables and the bake sale table, others circled the event. Those volunteers helped customers and continued to sort through books to keep them organized.
“Thank you to the campus community for their support of Good Cause Café and Project ONE,” Walker said.
On Thursday, because it was the last day of the event, people were able to buy a bag of books for only five dollars or a whole box for a mere ten dollars.
Project ONE, the beneficiary of the event, provides counseling, health services, housing information, food, and wellness services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS in and around Chester County. Project ONE is only about eight blocks from campus. The mission of Family Service of Chester County is “to promote the wellbeing of families and individuals and to advocate for change.”
Theresa Kelly is a third-year student majoring in English literature secondary education. She can be reached at TK780615@wcupa.edu.