Student veterans at Cape Fear Community College often stop into the college’s Veterans Center to enjoy a cup of coffee between classes. A coffee break may seem like a small thing, but to CFCC’s student veterans, it not only provides refreshment, but also a chance for them to socialize and support one another. Now, thanks to a generous donation from North Carolina Sorosis, they will enjoy free coffee for months.
On July 24, several members of the Wilmington Chapter of NC Sorosis visited the Veterans Center on CFCC’s Wilmington Campus and brought with them a cart load of coffee with more than 18 cases of single-serve “k-cups,” which will provide over 2,000 cups of coffee to CFCC’s veteran students this semester.
Debbie Sheehan, president of NC Sorosis, presented the coffee to the student veterans and Veterans Center staff. “NC Sorosis works on several community service projects throughout the year, and one of our focus areas is veterans,” she said. “Our group toured Union Station a few months ago and during our tour, we visited the Veterans Center. We saw a need that could be addressed simply, so we decided to make sure they had enough coffee.”
Scott McLaurin, a U.S. Navy veteran and director of CFCC’s Veterans Center says that drinking coffee is a habit that often develops in the military. “When you are deployed the water could taste bad or potentially be unhealthy, so it often needs to be boiled. As a result, many veterans drink coffee and tea. It also helps soldiers stay awake during their post assignments and is a way for soldiers to socialize. It is really part of the military culture.”
That culture translates to the veteran experience at college, where early morning classes and late night study sessions take the place of long shift assignments. “I think a lot of veterans swing by each day just to get a cup of coffee. It brings more students into the center,” said Zachary Kestner, U.S. Army Veteran and CFCC student.
Frequently, these quick visits turn into something more important. “Once students come in the center – often for the coffee – they realize that there are other students like them, learn about the range of services we offer and begin to develop a network of friendship and support on campus,” said McLaurin.
Approximately ten percent of CFCC’s curriculum students are veterans, so there is always a need for coffee. “We are hoping that our donation will inspire other organizations or businesses to donate coffee to the veterans center,” said Sheehan. “I understand this donation will only last about six weeks, so we are going to try to do more in November, in honor of Veterans Day.”
NC Sorosis has about 80 members locally, and is the oldest women’s organization in the state. The club is committed to promoting volunteerism, improving our community, and fostering new friendships. North Carolina Sorosis is proud of its many contributions to our community and is dedicated to community improvement through volunteer service.
The CFCC Veterans Center is committed to bringing quality programs and services to student veterans, families and dependents of veterans at Cape Fear Community College. The Center strives to provide contacts, mentoring, counseling and support to help ease veterans’ transition to college and enhance their educational experiences.