For such a small place, its presence looms large in Parker.
The Coffee Cabin, a tiny, drive-thru coffee stand that occupies an otherwise empty corner northeast of South Parker Road and Stroh Road, has a knack for brewing java that attracts hundreds of faithful customers. But the shop has a second specialty that creates an equal amount of buzz this time of year.
With affable owner Wesley Crespi at the helm, the Coffee Cabin enlists its customers to help bring holiday cheer to those less fortunate. Their generosity is unparalleled, Crespi says before excitedly going into detail about the piles of toys that filled a trailer and were delivered last year to the Children’s Hospital at Parker Adventist and the Parker Task Force.
“All I have to do is put the word out,” said Crespi, a New York transplant.
A multi-faceted approach to fundraising has proven successful: In addition to the toy drive, Crespi collects monetary donations from local businesses and individuals, as well as gift cards, diapers and toiletries. Each year, once everything is collected, Crespi and about three dozen customers deliver the gifts to the nonprofit organizations. This year, the targeted date is Dec. 20.
Robert Haefner, a Parker area resident who has patronized the Coffee Cabin since moving into the Pradera subdivision three years ago, knows from experience how difficult it can be to rally support for a cause. But Haefner says the motivating factor is seeing a small business owner get fully involved in helping the community.
“It takes a lot of effort and commitment and enthusiasm, and boy does he have that,” Haefner said.
Crespi deflects any credit sent his way and says he is happy to use his visibility as a conduit for a good cause. He says it’s the customers who deserve thanks. He is already stockpiling toys and has collected several gift cards, including 40 Red Robin cards worth $10 each.
For the first time, Haefner, a retired air traffic controller, is including his three children — ages 4, 6 and 9 — in the festivities. The stay-at-home dad said a holiday fundraising project orchestrated by members of the community provides a good “hands-on” lesson for the kids.
Last year, the effort raised $3,000 for the Parker Task Force, plus food, toys and diapers. The group also granted every wish on a wishing tree at Parker Adventist, dropping off 40 bags of toys just in time for Christmas last year. If that wasn’t enough, Coffee Cabin customers donated 100 toys to the Parker Police Department to distribute as they saw fit.
“We try to spread it all around,” Crespi said.
Those who wish to participate can drop off donations at the Coffee Cabin before noon every day of the week or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.