Kathy is growing in appreciation

Kathy has worked hard to heal, learn and grow and found a positive outlet by joining the staff of Ms. Bonnie's Cup of Hope.

Female worker making a drink in a coffee shop
Homemade Christmas and Thanksgiving card as well as a recipe for a specialty coffee drink

During Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, we often make special efforts to show gratitude to the people we care about. For the youth at Cunningham, expressing appreciation can be hard because they have experienced abuse, neglect, and trauma from the people they should have been able to trust. They find it challenging to trust and thank the adults around them because of their difficult past. That’s what makes this story about Kathy*, very special.

Since arriving at Cunningham a few years ago, Kathy has worked hard to heal, learn and grow. She found a positive outlet by joining the staff of Ms. Bonnie’s Cup of Hope, our on-campus, student-led coffee shop. Kathy was one of the first students to apply and get hired. She became skilled at operating coffee and espresso machines, even creating her own special drinks. Beyond that, Kathy focused on improving her social skills and overcoming shyness. Now, she confidently greets customers with a smile.

Kathy met Bonnie and Vic Buraglio, who played a key role in funding Ms. Bonnie’s Cup of Hope. Drawing from their grocery store background, they saw the importance of hands-on training for youth employment. The Buraglios, regulars at the coffee shop, took the time to know Kathy and other workers personally.

As the holidays neared, Kathy wanted to show gratitude to Vic and Bonnie not just for the coffee shop but also for their friendship. She asked staff to inform her when they would be visiting next, so she could be ready to express her appreciation.

Before Christmas, Vic and Bonnie visited the coffee shop, and Kathy greeted them. After serving their order, she gave them a special homemade Christmas card to say thanks. The card included a drink recipe she created for them. Bonnie and Vic were deeply touched by Kathy’s thoughtful gesture, finding more joy in it than any formal recognition they’ve received.

Our dedicated staff supports youth in overcoming challenges and becoming well-rounded individuals, focusing on physical, emotional and spiritual growth. This includes instilling the ability to appreciate those around them. Thank you for your contributions to the overall well-being of our kids!

*Our story is real but name has been changed to protect the privacy of our youth.