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Salvos and 7-11 serve up two million cups of compassion

Salvos and 7-11 serve up two million cups of compassion

Salvos and 7-11 serve up two million cups of compassion

20 July 2021

Melbourne Project 614 Corps Officer Major Brendan Nottle and 7-Eleven Australia CEO and Managing Director Angus McKay serve up a couple of lattes.

By Barry Gittins

No one knows for sure when and how people discovered that coffee could be a great pick-me-up, but legend has it that an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi once observed his goats happily gobbling some of the caffeinated berries before deciding to give them a crack himself.

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A cup of coffee has since become a social ritual for many people around the world. The Salvation Army Melbourne Project 614 Corps Officer Major Brendan Nottle says that often the 614 team “sit down over a cuppa with a client, and start building a relationship. It also helps us understand the services we can help connect them to.”

To that end, 614 recently celebrated the two millionth cup of coffee made by a 7-Eleven coffee machine, which was donated in 2014, in a pre-lockdown party attended by guests including City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp and 7-Eleven Australia CEO and Managing Director Angus McKay.

“The Salvation Army Melbourne Project 614 here in Bourke Street came about to serve those who are struggling with homelessness and other challenges in the City of Melbourne,” Brendan added, “and 7-Eleven has kept their coffee machine in tip-top order, as well as stocking us with beans and cups ever since, as well as providing a single-use cup recycling unit for our Magpie Nest Cafe.”

The event acknowledged the recent donation of a second coffee machine to keep those lattes chugging along.

Angus said his 7-Eleven team was very proud to support The Salvation Army and that “homelessness is an issue that we are very aware of and our team wanted to do something to help those they see around the stores”.

He added that 7-Eleven employees delight in volunteering at 614, as well as “donating as part of our workplace giving, and taking part in donation drives. Our city store teams also pick up the phones to let the Salvos outreach teams know there’s someone nearby who might need help.”

It may seem like a small thing, a cup of coffee. But there is a welcoming symbolism behind every cup brewed; for many of us, a cup shared is the beginning of a conversation. It is a welcome break from the pressures of life. And it is a friendly routine that includes people, gives us time to think and feel, and be refreshed.

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