Submitted by Terri Garrity
(February 18, 2023) — The Nest, located in Deep River, is anything but your typical coffee shop and when you visit, you’ll understand that there is so much more here that will warm your heart. On March 18, 2023 there will be even more to love as they welcome the public to the grand opening celebration of their new Community Gatherings Space.
Since 2018, The Nest and its parent non-profit A Little Compassion, Inc. (ALC) have made it their mission to create a culture of inclusion, acceptance and support for neurodiverse young adults. Many of the friendly faces you’ll meet there are compassion-driven, uber-motivated job coaches and vivacious neurodiverse young adults on their way to successfully completing the New Employment Skills Training (N.E.S.T.) Program. With new skills and confidence, these trainees move on to become Nest baristas, attain other jobs, or attend post-secondary programs.
The Nest hosts social gathering events weekly throughout the year that provide opportunities for these neurodiverse individuals to feel a sense of support, understanding and connection to others in their community. With more 600 members of the Gatherings Group and the employment and community awareness programs growing rapidly, the Nest needed more space.
The Nest Gatherings events are open to everyone high school age and up and are as fun and diverse as the participants. Events include writers workshops, arts and crafts, bingo, anime, game nights, watch parties, open mic night and much more.
All Gatherings are supported by peers and community members who have completed specialized training designed to help volunteers compassionately engage with participants. Participants appreciate the sense of safety, belonging and understanding that is promoted here.
In addition to delicious coffee beverages, freshly prepared sandwiches, baked goods, and even ice cream in the middle of winter. The Nest offers beautifully handmade crafts and gift items spotlighting talented neurodiverse local artists as well as fair trade items from around the globe in their Possibilities Boutique.
“We are extremely excited. Thanks to donations from sponsors and the community, this expansion will allow more individuals to join our flock and given us the extra space for hosting a greater array of activities and special events to enrich and support our young adults,” says Executive Director Jane Moen.
An important part of the mission of The Nest Coffee House and A Little Compassion, Inc. is to help build a community beyond their doors by expanding opportunities for the public to become more involved, and evolve into a kinder, more inclusive society that values those who are neurodiverse. The organization is excited to continue offering annual events such as the popular Water Lantern Celebration returning May 20, 2023, and the Compassion Walk in the Fall.
To help support the Nest Coffee House complete the renovation for the Gatherings events, please consider sending a donation or becoming a volunteer. For information, or to volunteer, please visit www.alittlecompassion.org.