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Tori Adkison // Latte with Coconut Milk and Little Wolf Espresso - Cincinnati, Ohio

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    Three years ago, Tori Adkison decided to moved to Searcy to work at Midnight Oil. She had worked at a coffee shop in high school and she wanted to keep doing that, and she knew Midnight Oil was the place to be. Not only is Adkison a barista, but she is the artist of all the chalk art on the Midnight Oil walls.

    “Midnight Oil is a home for all my hobbies. I get to bake, make coffee and chalk,” Adkison said. “It’s my way to connect to the people I would never meet on Harding’s campus and to get plugged in to the community.”

    The summers are Adkison’s favorite time of the year because she gets to see the regulars from the community.

    “I’ve learned how to be friendly and make friends with the people that come here. I’ve learned a lot from the people here because I wasn't very good at communication skills before I got to college. This has been a big learning curve of being friendly to people when they walk in, how to do our job well and how to communicate our connections to Kibo.”

    Adkison has been able to put her hobbies into good use. Whatever she does for Midnight Oil, she is not only helping locally, she is helping those who are serving with KIBO.

    “I think it’s a huge deal that we get to do that and a big privilege. Most workplaces don't have some connection like this and it brings a whole new meaning to making a cup of coffee, baking or doing chalk. There is always something behind it.”

 

 

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Anna Moseley// Lavender Latte - Searcy, Arkansas

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   Anna Moseley lives in Searcy with her husband, Taylor, and started working at Midnight Oil while she was in college. For Anna, it’s the little things that made her love Midnight Oil so much.

    “All of the people knew my name, they knew my drink order. They made me feel appreciated in such a small way. It’s just coffee, it’s just a little part of your day, but I liked the way the barista made me feel. I like the connections and relationships I had with them and I wanted to be a part of that,” Moseley said.

    Moseley loves the different kinds of relationships she has made through her job. Her fellow employees are now some of her best friends and she loves the connections with the customers from the community that she may not have met otherwise.

    “I have learned how important it is to know people’s names and how special that can make somebody feel and how much influence you have a person’s day.” Moseley said. “I have definitely realized how important the little things are and how you should never stop doing those little things for other people.”

    As an employee at Midnight Oil, Moseley gets to be a part of a much larger picture. Because of every connection she makes, every relationship she builds that keeps bringing customers back to Midnight Oil, those who are helped by KIBO receive more.

    “I get to be a very small little piece to a much larger puzzle that affects all different kinds of people. Even though it is a very small role, if I wasn't here during this part, the whole thing, the whole piece, the whole puzzle couldn't function.”

 

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Silas Hall // Cortado with Featured Espresso - Columbia, Tennessee

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Silas Hall is a senior from Columbia, Tennessee who has been working at Midnight Oil since last year. He says that his favorite part of his job are the people he gets to work with along with learning the history and the different techniques behind coffee.

“I had been a long time customer. I really like coffee and I am very interested in the process and as I came here more I got to know the baristas more which made me love the work culture.”

    Hall enjoys having a job that allows him to have access to the different types of coffee and the different types of techniques. He also says that he is always learning something new, and that this job allows him to see how he can directly affect someone, as well as see that his work and training makes it worth it for the customers.

“When I make something, because of all the training that I have had I know when something is good or not. I enjoy knowing that what I made for someone is well worth the money that they spent on it.”

    It is much more than a simple transaction. Every time a customer purchases a drink, pastry, or food, the value of the purchase does not only help the person at MO but also those that KIBO serves.

“It makes my job a lot more meaningful. There is something that should be said about a business making money and being profitable but just knowing that when your day might be frustrating you can look up and see something with the word KIBO to remind me what I am doing and how it can directly help someone in other places.”

 

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Sarah Kay pike // Honey Vanilla Bean Latte - Memphis, TN

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As a part of a social media campaign for Communication Ethics we decided to work with Midnight Oil to have their employees share #FindYourWhy. We first meet with Sarah Kay Pike from Memphis, Tennessee, who has been a long time customer of MO to share her why.

“I have learned a lot about KIBO just from the people I am friends with, who were children who grew up in Jinja. So, I have always been interested in that aspect of Midnight Oil and I have always studied here since freshman year. I have always loved working with my hands but not manual labor. I knew for a long time that I wanted to work here but I did not apply till last year.”

Pike is engaged to Ben Moore, whose family has worked alongside the KIBO group in Jinja, Africa since he was a child. So for Pike there is more to MO than just having a part time job.

    “I have never been there but I have meet those who work in Jinja with the KIBO group and I have learned a lot about the mission and why they started.” said Pike. ‘It is easy to not think about working for a nonprofit day-to-day but when the KIBO workers come here and visit, they are so overwhelming grateful for what we do when it can just seem like our part-time job.”

Pike followed by sharing that here at Midnight Oil in Searcy, Arkansas, the major life changes are not happening here but what the KIBO group is doing in Jinja is so important to the mission of MO. As a team the MO employees focus on how they too can make an impact in our community.

“We talk a lot about on the day-to-day how it makes the business run better if you think about the person you are serving, and that is simply why I work here. I get to do something very simple, like make someone a coffee drink that they don’t need... because it is not like I am giving them a basic need. But if I think about the person in front of me it will make the experience better for them and more meaningful. To be present with the person in front of me is my main why.”

 

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