Columbia Christian Schools
Knights Cafe - A Giving Machine


A Note from Shauna Wagner, Columbia’s Café Manager

I worked in a coffee shop when Troy and I were newly married. I LOVED it! I said I’d love to have my own coffee shop someday. After several years we were blessed to be able to come to Columbia and God provided me with my dream. I got to set up a coffee shop and work next to my husband and children every day. Through a generous grant these dreams have become my reality. The Knights Café was started four years ago as part of our renovated Student Center in the lower part of the Farris Johnson Memorial Center building. We decided that the profits from this little store would support missions both within and outside of Columbia.

Our first year we courageously partnered with HALO international to support an orphanage in Uganda. We gave $2500 over the course of the school year which provided housing, food and education to an entire school. On top of that we used our tips to support various missions, like Portland Rescue Mission and Wounded Warriors.

Our second and third years we gave gifts at Christmas time to World Vision varying from $500- $700. These gifts were farm animals, mosquito bed netting, medicine and clean water. The tip jar is used to help in smaller ways. We’ve given money to many different organizations including sex-trafficking victims through Fish Radio, Portland Rescue Mission and Wounded Warriors.

This year we again did a Christmas gift through World Vision, which was matched 12X through other donors, our $500 became $6000. We also donated through Go Fund Me to help with funeral expenses for a 3-year-old little boy associated with one of our students and his mother. One of our families and school supporters ended up in the hospital after a stroke and we were able to send them a gift of $200. During March Madness we did a bracket buy-in of $1 with all proceeds going to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. We raised $52 in bracket buy-ins and will use the tip jar to make a larger donation.

Beyond our giving the café is a training ground for our students. I hire, yes hire, students to work in the café. They must fill out an application, go through an interview, provide references and pass a food handler’s test. I have two students working during lunch every day. Their job is to handle sales, stock products and provide customer service. These students are not paid and don’t receive service hours. They receive a free drink or food item for working. On a couple of occasions, we have opened the café for campus events and the students that volunteer to work at those events can claim service hours. Usually, by a student’s senior year he or she is capable of making any of the drinks on our menu, from lattes and mochas to Italian sodas. The student is then able to go into the job market with some skills and is able to use me as a reference. Many of our students have gone on to work in a coffee shop or some type of customer service.

I am excited to see what charity or organization God will bring us to support next year.

If you are on campus stop by and say hi. The coffee's always on.