Volunteers Fill Backpacks for Intern’s First Day of Work

Well and Good Coffee House hosted Omega Espresso Bar (OEB) as the group of volunteers packed backpacks for OEB’s interns’ first day of work on Oct. 20. OEB is a non-profit organization giving women from abusive backgrounds work opportunities as baristas.

Janna Kainos founded OEB in hopes of inspiring women who struggle to overcome their abusive past. Kainos’s journey includes freedom from a life of abuse and addictions. Her story leads her to share the hope she has found with women in her local community. Kainos’s career spans 18 years of working in retail management. She knows the coffee industry well as she worked at Starbucks for five years. All of her work experience feeds into her founding OEB as they partner with coffee shops to give women work.

OEB assesses a coffee shop by the openness and values of the coffee shop. The interest of the staff and owners to work with the interns and OEB’s volunteers plays an impactful role in who OEB choses as partners.

“We come in and help have conversations with staff to invite and welcome in a woman from an abusive background,” said Kainos.

OEB’s interns are carefully selected and placed in coffee shops. OEB funds the employment of their interns and provides weekly check-ins with staff and interns to assure the success of both the coffee shop and interns. Three new interns began their first day of work last month. Two at Well and Good and one at Lionheart.

“All three of these women come from a background of either verbal, emotional or physical abuse,” explained Kainos.

One of the volunteers who helped pack backpacks, Alley Kelley, offers a unique aspect of recovery to the community. Kelley instructs on how to deal with emotional, verbal, mental, and physical repercussions of self-defense. Kelley’s self-defense business, Spark Self-Defense, contributes 10 percent of its earnings to OEB. Kelly’s goal is to bring the same support to women coming from abuse and local law enforcement. Kelley’s excitement for using her skills and passion is expanding her reach from Beaverton into Tigard.

“We are excited to be partnering with OEB,” said Kelley. “We want to spread the news all over. Right now it is just us and the world.”

The holistic approach of OEB extends into their spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. Providing the right clothing for their interns is important to OEB. Divine Threads, one of OEB’s partners, centers their attention on helping women find work attire, doing hair and makeup, designing a resume, and supporting spiritually. A wide range of women who are victims of sex trafficking, released from prison, homeless, and single parents come to Divine Threads to be outfitted.

Along with helping OEB’s interns find work clothing, OEB collaborates with All Star Staffing to compile job history.

“The women will have a record of experience with them to help place them later on at a new job,” said Kainos.

As the three interns began their first month of work at the coffee shops, Kainos wanted to give the interns a special welcome gift. Volunteers packed brightly teal colored backpacks to be delivered to OEB’s newest interns, Divine Threads and All Star Staffing. OEB’s volunteers wrote an assortment of encouraging notes to be hidden throughout the backpacks. Every bag includes a collection of pens, lunch bag, chapstick, water bottle, notebook, devotional book, lotion, and hand written notes.

“With these new interns starting with us I’m really excited to rub shoulder to shoulder with them and watch them grow in their everyday lives,” said Kainos.

If you would like to sponsor a backpack, donate to Omega Espresso Bar, or recommend a potential partnership, feel free to call Omega Espresso Bar at 503-862-9240 or email janna@oeb.io. For more information, visit www.oeb.io.