Downtown Waco and our local businesses embody a strong sense of community. In this blog, we’ll explore three remarkable businesses that contribute to local charities, champion safe, inclusive spaces, and extend their philanthropic reach to national charities and nonprofits!
First on our list is Cha Community, a fast-casual boba tea cafe offering a menu of Taiwanese and Chinese food options. Founded in 2018 by Jaja and Devin, Cha Community, formerly Waco Cha, is fueled by their deep passion for authentic Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine and beverages. Their primary mission is to foster cultural connections and build a sense of community. Cha Community actively collaborates with various nonprofit organizations, including but not limited to Asian Leaders Network Waco, Mentor Waco, Hispanic Leaders Waco, and Creative Waco’s APPrenticeship program. As part of its commitment to giving back, Cha Community allocates a portion of its profits to these organizations. They donate $1 for every drink sold and $2 for every dumpling box purchased.
Moreover, they proudly partner with local nonprofit initiatives. When opening their Temple location, Cha Community began partnering with The Un-Included Club, a Black-founded non-profit that provides mentorship and leadership development for youth in the Temple area. In the spring of 2022, Cha Community and The Un-Included Club included their pea microgreens from their urban farm as part of their Taiwanese Cold Noodles. Additionally, in their Waco location, Cha Community worked with Keep Waco Beautiful in the Green Communities Conference which brought diverse groups together in Waco for a day-long event to advance a culture of sustainability.
Nestled in the heart of Downtown Waco, Lighthouse stands as a proud contributor to the rich tapestry of the vibrant Waco community. Through their vast coffee selection, thoughtfully selected wines, and meticulously crafted cocktails, they pay homage to Waco and the strong bonds shared by its community. Lighthouse is committed to fostering an atmosphere of inclusivity and unity for all who visit.
In their dedication to creating a sense of inclusion and community, Lighthouse takes a unique approach to charitable giving. Every coffee cup purchased by their customers contributes to helping the environment – Lighthouse ensures that the used coffee grounds are collected and directly donated to World Hunger Relief in Elm Mott every Sunday.
Vintage Mío Records, sitting right off 6th Street in Downtown Waco, boasts a profound personal connection with the charitable causes it supports. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Armando Cardoso, the founder of Vintage Mío Records, initiated heartfelt conversations with various nonprofit organizations. These discussions unearthed the urgent need for substantial contributions to respected institutions such as Make-A-Wish and Portland Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital. Cardoso, who has experienced the devastating loss of a family member to cancer and witnessed his wife’s courageous battle with domestic abuse, has committed to a noble mission: channeling $250,000 in direct donations to thoroughly vetted nonprofit organizations.
Each purchase made at Vintage Mío contributes meaningfully to four key categories of nonprofit initiatives: children’s cancer research and support for hospitals, foster care programs, multi-purpose charitable efforts, and women’s shelters. Vintage Mío Records has supported distinguished institutions such as St. Jude’s Research Hospital, Project Never Again, The Harrelson Center, and Saving Grace Maternity. If you’re interested in learning more about the specific beneficiaries of Vintage Mío’s charitable endeavors, visit their Facebook page, where they maintain complete transparency regarding allocating their sales proceeds!
Oh My Juice is conveniently located just off 2nd Street in the heart of Downtown Waco. Their commitment to supporting various charities and nonprofits has remained steadfast. Notably, Oh My Juice had the privilege of collaborating with Jesus Said Love, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering and transforming the lives of individuals affected by sex exploitation and trafficking while fostering a sense of community, commerce, and creativity. Their partnership with Jesus Said Love extends to their Access Program, providing participants a valuable space to work, learn, and gain essential experience.
Furthermore, they actively engage in collection drives for essential items such as coats, hats, gloves, and boots, benefiting the homeless population within Downtown Waco. In addition to our work with Jesus Said Love and support for the local homeless community, Oh My Juice collaborates with Waco’s Salvation Army halfway house. This partnership offers opportunities for convicted felons seeking to reintegrate into society, aiding them to a fresh start.
While these three businesses serve as examples, they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to opportunities for community giving. Join us during this season of giving and make a meaningful contribution to our community!