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‘Let’s bring warmth’: Bend restaurant Kefi partners with Bethlehem Inn to meet big need during the winter months

BEND, Ore. (KTZ) -- The owner of Bend's Kefi Fast Fresh Mediterranean, Menoula Stanitsas, wants to help those in need stay warm this winter: “We thought, 'Let's bring warmth, and warmth that will last year round.'”

Stanitsas and her family opened their new restaurant just two weeks before the pandemic hit. After years of fighting to keep afloat, Kefi has become a successful dining spot.

“We wanted to give back and just say 'thank you' to Bend for helping us through this. But who do we give back to?” Stanitsas said Friday.

With their Winter Warmth Drive, Kefi teamed with the Bethlehem Inn to help the homeless stay warm. Winter Warmth is a sock drive where anyone can buy new socks, beanies and gloves and drop them off at the restaurant.

"Our way of thinking is, 'How can we help in some small way?'" Stanitas said, "And it's cold in Bend. Our restaurant, our building here, is used as a collection drop-off, and hopefully will fill that box and be able to give to these people who need a little bit of warmth, something to help them through the winter months.”

They have a box in the restaurant and need help filling it before the end of the drive set for next Monday, Dec. 11.

Stanitas aspires to bring a full box and more to Bethlehem Inn next week.

“My hope and my dream was just, drive up to Bethlehem Inn with a car full of of trash bags, basically full of hats, gloves and socks.”

Kefi already gives back to different schools and organizations during the year, and if this Winter Warmth Drive is success, they plan to do it again annually. The Bethlehem Inn, meanwhile, can also use food, hygiene supplies and more warm winter clothing.

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Dylan Anderman

Dylan Anderman is sports reporter for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Dylan here.


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