Pay It Forward MHK program supports essential workers during pandemic

(Photo Courtesy of Paramour Coffee)

Paramour Coffee, in partnership with Bank of the Flint Hills, recently created Pay It Forward MHK — a program intended to give back to the Manhattan community by supporting first responders and essential workers during the pandemic.

“Community is at the core of our values and how we serve our customers each day,” Jim Hovind, owner of Paramour Coffee, said. “This program is not only a way to give back, but it’s a reflection and testament to the strength of our community to come together during tough times.”

The endeavor is supported by local marketing firm SEG Media Collective.

Sheila Ellis-Glasper, founder and creative director of SEG Media Collective, said the Pay It Forward MHK program was inspired by the customers of the local coffee shop.

“For years, Paramour customers have paid it forward and recently we have witnessed many pay it forward [with] acts of kindness that sometimes lasts for days,” Ellis-Glasper said.

Last month, Paramour gave free coffee to first responders for two days when Lance White, president of Bank of the Flint Hills, started the pay it forward chain by making a donation to Paramour. That’s when the idea for the program came to life, Ellis-Glasper said.

Anyone who wants to pay it forward can purchase a package of coffee and made-from-scratch pastries directly from Paramour’s website to be delivered to essential workers. As well as supporting and recognizing those on the frontlines during the pandemic, $2 of each order goes directly to the Flint Hills Breadbasket in Manhattan.

“So far we’ve had several orders and lots of gratitude from the recipients of the orders including the Riley County Police Department, Riley County Fire Department and Via Christi,” Ellis-Glasper said.

Hovind is grateful for customers and members of the community who have continued to support Paramour Coffee and donated to the Pay It Forward MHK program during this time.

“It’s been very humbling to see the outpour of support for small businesses from the community,” Hovind said. “We are open because of them.”