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The Foundation for Children with Individual and Development Disabilities awarded five program grants in its March 1, 2024 cycle.

The Foundation for Children with Individual and Development Disabilities awarded five program grants in its March 1, 2024 cycle.  The Kindness Cafe + Play was awarded $20,696.00, $2000 of which came from the Thomas Jefferson Civitan Club to help open a second location in Charlottesville!



Kindness Cafe + Play is a non-profit coffee shop located in Charlottesville, VA that provides employment for adults with cognitive disabilities while creating a joyful, inclusive community space. Kindness opened in July of 2020 in the lobby of the Brooks Family YMCA. Currently, Kindness employs 17 adults with disabilities. These employees have thrived during their time at Kindness. As one employee stated recently in an interview for a local magazine,

“Kindness has made me realize that I’m more capable than I thought I was.”

Kindness cashier


For most of our employees, this opportunity has been life changing because Kindness provides a supportive environment where success is expected, and appropriate scaffolding is provided to each individual. At work our staff is connected socially, has opportunities to learn and grow, and feels a sense of purpose.

“We don’t know where [our daughter] would be without Kindness. It has given her a necessary place and purpose.”

Father of a Kindness barista


Summary of Request:  Purchase of one espresso machine, two under-counter refrigerators and an ice maker.


After 3 and a half years of operation, we’re excited to add a second Kindness location in Charlottesville. Westminster Church has generously offered to host Kindness Cafe in their Common Grounds building. This is an excellent opportunity for their organization. This location is close to the University of Virginia, student housing, University offices, and residential homes. More importantly, Westminster has offered an arrangement similar to their current agreement with the YMCA. Kindness Cafe will pay for all construction costs and purchase all necessary equipment. Then Westminster will not charge rent while Kindness is operating. This significantly decreases overhead costs going forward and creates a clear path for a sustainable future at both locations. Adding this second location will allow Kindness to hire more individuals with cognitive disabilities.

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