A man went into hospice. His competitor helped for free

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Aden - Yasmin Abdel Azim - coffee Image Credit: Pexels

The Local Coffee Company was open for less than a year when its owners' lives were turned upside down: Dave McAdams learned that he had terminal cancer, and his wife Tina McAdams wanted to spend every second she could by his side.

Their neighbor and competitor, Pixie Adams, knew what it meant to fight a scary diagnosis. Near the end of her own battle with breast cancer in 2017, Pixie had opened Moonlight Coffee next door to the McAdams' home in Oak Grove, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. While she sold lavender lattes and blueberry muffins, she also hosted training sessions for other small businesses.

Pixie said she talked shop with the couple and gave them pointers last year when they decided to buy the drive-through coffee shop down the street. Tina and Dave envisioned the small cafe as part of their life together, Pixie said, but their future became cloudy when Dave entered hospice care. He had weeks - maybe just days - to live, doctors recently told him.

Tina wanted to keep the Local Coffee Company afloat, but she also needed to make the most of her time with her husband. So Pixie worked at the Local Coffee Company for free for a day so Tina could be with Dave.

"Let's see if we can raise enough money that you don't have to even think about being in two places at once," Pixie said she told Tina.

Pixie said Tina "was floored."

Pixie created a event for Wednesday's fundraiser. With help, she posted in hyper-local community groups, distributed print fliers and contacted local news stations. Moonlight Coffee was closed on Wednesday, and a staff member there directed customers to the McAdams' shop.

The result was a record sales day for the Local Coffee Company, Pixie said. The business earned nearly $3,300 in five hours for Dave's medical expenses, and for staff members and supplies that the Local Coffee Company can use to keep its doors open.

For most of the fundraiser, Pixie said about six cars were lined up on both sides of the drive-through as she and other volunteers crafted peppermint mochas and took preorders for LovedDeeply, a special blend of beans that the coffee shop's roaster created for Dave. Some people walked up to the drive-through lines to throw money into the jar, while others stopped by unannounced to volunteer their time. Pixie had to arrange for multiple product orders to be delivered because the shop kept running out of items.

The volunteers were exhausted by the end of the day, Pixie said, but the sacrifice was worth it: Dave was so touched that he had cried when Pixie asked him for permission to organise the fundraiser.

"It's always going to be about friendship over business, community over competition," Pixie said. "Because at the end of the day, that's how small businesses like us are going to continue to be here."

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