Miracles—you bet they happen!
Last month, Frenz Coffee House came to a crossroads as to whether we would continue to exist. There were forces both seen and unseen that worked to undermine the business and push us toward being another sad statistic in this current economy. Don’t get me wrong, we were 100 percent responsible and accountable for the business, but some things were beyond our control. People who know us well enough know why we do what we do and that we don’t believe in this economy. The past winter had been exceptionally tough for the business and excessive debts had accumulated during that period. We shared our dilemma with a handful of close friends. They were not going to let Frenz go away without a fight and took on the HUGE task of organizing a benefit/fundraiser for Frenz in a very short period of time.
Here’s the story: a handful of people, who know who they are, organized this event. In nine days they organized e-mails, a blog, contacted people and/or businesses for donations for a silent auction, and spent countless hours of their own time away from fun and family time to help Frenz. I know people are easily offended when you talk about things that make them uncomfortable or are not politically correct, but here’s more of the story. I don’t care if you are atheist, Christian, Muslim, or whatever flavor of religion, but what happened here was a miracle—plain and simple. What we witnessed was a community of strangers coming together for a common cause. This was not about Frenz, Michele or even me, but “something bigger” that people believe in and wanted to keep. Frenz has always been about you and not us. We believe our calling is to be servants who offer people a place of comfort, refuge and a place where you feel welcome.
In nine days, we exceeded our goal of $10,000! We had over 100 items that we auctioned off, and overall the whole process was as smooth as can be. People came from all over the area. People we have never seen before, people who did not like coffee, and people who said their friends said they had to come and support us came and donated their hard-earned money. Young, old, rich, poor, black and white, they came and came for two days, July 31 and August 1. When we say we love our spouse, children, this or that, we say it usually because we know it to be true. Imagine love in a form that you do not expect and comes from nowhere, unconditionally and gives just because. We saw love in its purest form during those two days. We were so moved and touched by the generosity and love from the community that we will never forget those special days as long as we live.
Miracles? You bet they happen, and they happen when we get out of the way and let our God do the work.
We are humbled and so grateful that words will never justify our thankfulness for the outpouring of support from the community. In a world that bails out banks, credit card companies, automakers and Wall Street, a community came together and bailed out a business that they truly belong to and, God willing, will be around for many years to come.
I also want to thank my wife Michele who stood at my side during some pretty ugly and trying times and has made Frenz Coffee House an even better place for the community. Without her, I’d be just another piece of driftwood (dead) on the sea of life. Miracles do happen and they will continue to happen!
Rich Zeck owner, Frenz Coffee House
Thank you for a fine article
Allow us to express how pleased we were with the article about Western Canada written by Cliff and Nancy Hill, which appeared in The Rockford Squire on August 20. We have long recognized the beauty of that country and the friendliness of its people. Cliff and Nancy did a wonderful job of describing both.
Kindly pass on to them our thanks and also a thank-you to your newspaper for publishing this fine article.
Doreen and John Holmes