Monthly Archives: December 2011

Straight Ahead Coffee Shop/Community Center Update

Happy Holidays!

I hope your holiday season is in full-happy swing and not too stressful.  Since I love to be busy, I secretly like this hustle and bustle of the holidays.  The more, the merrier!  It’s fun!

I wanted to share with you all the goings-on at the Straight Up Café and Community Center.  And there’s your first update!  We’ve come up with a name.  Straight Up!  What do you think?

Just to keep you updated on the concept and how we see things working, here’s a brief overview of our vision!   Straight Up will be a coffee shop that serves as a meeting place for the neighboring people, businesses, and community groups.  We see this space as a safe place for the great diversity of people living here.  Perhaps it will be to meet up with friends or to work on their laptops.   But either way, they will have a comfortable resting spot to reenergize with a warm meal and a cup of Worcester’s best coffee.

The best part is the coffee shop will serve as just one of many tools for building in the lives of the inner city youth.  By training and employing youth, we are able to better equip them for their futures.  This is why all of the money that Straight Up generates will go right back into investing in these youth through a variety of after-school activities.  These activities will take place in the same building and will give these youth not only a safe place to go, but also a loving environment in which to grow!

Right now we are working on the menu and the structure of the coffee shop.  We are thinking through what kind of coffee, sandwiches and baked goods to serve… it’s so much fun and I’m very excited for the taste-testings coming up!!!

And to get this off of the ground and keep it running, I am asking for your help.  I am asking you to come on board.  I am asking you to decide that these kids in one of the roughest parts of Worcester are worth the investment.  I am asking you to believe with us that this coffee shop and community center could really make an impact not only in these youth’s lives, but also in the whole city of Worcester.

If you can believe that as I believe that, then I hope you’ll partner with me. Because this is a non-profit operation, I have accepted this job without pay and will be raising my own salary.  This is a common way to make a living in the non-profit world.

Whatever support you choose to give, whether through prayer, a listening ear or a financial contribution, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  If it’s prayer or a listening ear, I’d love to hear from you.  And if it is financial, please contribute online at – just specify Liz Kravitz when donating.  (please know my church, The Woo, is supporting me financially which is a huge blessing!  So if you are a part of The Woo – thank you!)

I know God is moving in this, and I know He will provide abundantly for my every need!  He is so good and I’m so thankful to even have this opportunity.

I will continue to keep you posted on all the goings-on!  We are hoping to open in March!





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Dreams Do Come True…

This is a bit of what I’ve been up to.  God has answered some big prayers in my life and now I’m working with Straight Ahead Ministries in Worcester to open a coffee shop/community center!  Below is my first support letter I sent out.  I’ll post the second as well — it’s all just getting started!  Let me know what you think!  And feel free to ask questions — it’s all happening so fast I can barely keep up!  I love it!


I hope you’re having an awesome day.  Check this out – three-years ago I wrote this in my journal.

Nov 5, 2008

“Just in case I forget!  I want to start a children’s ministry in Worcester County,”

Then I was living in Raleigh, NC.  When I moved back to Worcester, MA I tried to make that happen.  I tried to open a coffee shop that would support a community center.  I failed.  But now, that dream is coming true!

I recently took a position with Straight Ahead Ministries to manage and mentor kids working at a coffee shop that will support a community center.  The center will offer a range of activities, classes, studies and job skill training.

The coffee shop will provide jobs for at-risk kids in the Main South neighborhood of Worcester as well as ultimately become self-sufficient and start paying the bills at the center.  This obviously is not an easy task.

And so I want to ask for your help.  To make this happen and make sure that every dollar made at the coffee shop goes to paying kids and supporting the community center, I am raising my own salary.  This is a common way to make a living in the non-profit world.

I know God will provide for my every need.  And those needs range from a prayer, to a listening ear to a financial contribution.  I want you to be part of this mission if it’s something you feel in any way connected to or passionate about.  So I ask for your support in what every way you feel is right for you.

If it’s prayer or a listening ear, I’d love to hear from you.  And if it is financial you can contribute online at – just specify Liz Kravitz when donating or you can fill out the enclosed forms.  (please know my church, The Woo, is supporting me financially which is a huge blessing!  So if you are a part of The Woo – thank you!)

I sat down and took time to figure out a budget that I can live on, have health insurance and keep up with my bills.  The final figure is $2200 a month.  I know God will provide abundantly for my EVERY need.

I look forward to updating you on all the goings-on at the coffee shop and community center!  It’s going to be an exciting journey and I can’t wait to share that and the success stories of kids finding promising futures filled with love and hope.

You can check out Straight Ahead Ministries @




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I Can Feel Your Prayers…

Isn’t that just amazing?!?!  I remember my Mom telling me a story once.  She said she had told a friend that she was praying for her.  And her friend said “I know, I can feel it.”  I thought about that for a while and then realized, I too can feel when you pray for me.  It’s overwhelming and miraculous.  It’s more peace than I can comprehend.  God is so good.

Today, I feel you praying for me.  Thank you. 

I hope you can feel mine.

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