Customers wait in line at Daily Grind in Port Angeles on Monday. Daily Grind is one of three coffee shops in Port Angeles offering free drinks to first responders after community donations came in. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Customers wait in line at Daily Grind in Port Angeles on Monday. Daily Grind is one of three coffee shops in Port Angeles offering free drinks to first responders after community donations came in. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

First responders receive free coffee in thanks for storm work

Caffeine fix provided by community donations

PORT ANGELES — First responders who are braving the winter weather to help people are being treated to free coffee at stands around Port Angeles.

Jessica Guthrie began fundraising over the weekend so that the community could show appreciation to first responders, including police, firefighters, paramedics, dispatchers and road crews.

“I admire our police officers and everybody that’s out in this weather responding to accident after accident while most of us are calling into work,” Guthrie said. “They’re working tirelessly.”

Participating coffee shops include Bella Rosa Coffee House, 403 S. Lincoln St.; Higher Grounds Espresso at 802 C St.; and Daily Grind at 1919 E. First St.

Guthrie began accepting donations over the weekend, asking people to donate $1. One person donated $50 and others donated $5.

In total, the effort had raised more than $200 by Monday morning.

She said as the money keeps coming in she would continue to give it to the coffee shops. Those who don’t want to donate directly to her Paypal account can donate directly to the coffee shops, she said.

Shae Bennett, who owns Daily Grind, said she was matching any donations. As of Monday morning $80 was given to Daily Grind, which means first responders could have $160 worth of free coffee.

“I’ll continue to match as the money keeps coming in,” Bennett said.

She said she first learned about the effort by seeing Guthrie’s post about it on Facebook and she decided the Daily Grind should be involved.

Bennett said she appreciates everything first responders are doing to keep people safe during the snowy weather.

“My best friend is a 9-1-1 dispatcher,” she said. “Just hearing from her every day about what’s been happening with the storm … the least we can do is give them coffee.”

She said if money dedicated to first responders is left over after the weather gets better it would still be available for first responders until the fund runs out.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

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