Everybody Matters

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(Say it on a SHIRT!)

When our oldest grandson turned 13, our son Stephen took him to Yosemite to celebrate. Stephen asked the important men in his life including, of course, his dad, to send a 3–5-minute video message to Gunnar. While camping in the wilderness, Stephen had issues downloading his dad’s message… because instead of 3 minutes, it was 30!!

What Stephen didn’t realize then was that Bill knew he might not be around to celebrate Gunnar’s 14th birthday. He wanted to download every important life lesson for Gunnar (and our other grandchildren) that he could. The gist of his message was this:

Everybody Matters

We believe in this phrase. We practice it. We bank on others joining us in shouting it to the rooftops by loving everyone in both word and deed, especially those who the world says don’t matter enough to keep safe, healthy, and cared for.

Here’s a four-minute clip from that video. It’s been so impactful for those who have watched the 3-minute version and the 30-minute one, that our team at Refuge decided to design a t-shirt with “Everybody Matters” on it. The designer, our friend JC Pena, had the great idea to use Bill’s handwriting, so in a way we could say Bill designed it!

At our Refuge Spring Market this weekend, you can purchase the shirt. We are giving half of the proceeds to another Clarkston nonprofit, one that Bill invested in as the founding board chair: Ethne Health. Ethne doctors and nurses have helped countless Refuge barista trainees and staff. They were with Bill in his last days, up until the last working so hard to help him breathe and recover. They wept at his burial service. They are a part of my heart, my family, and the Refuge family!

I hope you’ll support them by buying a shirt. And I hope to see you at the Spring Market this Saturday!!!

You matter to me, 


P.S. – Modeling the “Everybody Matters” shirts are: Founding Ethne doctors (above), Ahmad from Refuge Coffee Midtown, Frey, Sesayt, Nafisa, Hiyab, Sediqa, and Leon at Refuge Coffee Clarkston, Niana and Danait from Refuge Norcross, and me (next to my friend Daniel Brown, owner of Gilly Brewbar in Stone Mountain.)

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