WAXAHACHIE

White Rhino Coffee + Kitchen in Waxahachie will open its doors Christmas Day with the partnership of Runner’s Refuge to feed 250 families in Ellis County. And the staff is doing it all for free.

The coffee shop has been open since May and the owner, Chris Parvin, a Southwestern Assemblies of God University grad, is making Waxahachie home for everyone this holiday season.

“What better way to spend our first Christmas in Waxahachie than to open our home and invite our neighbors?” Parvin said. “If you are someone who will be alone on Christmas day, you are welcome at our table. If you are someone who is hungry, you are welcome at our table. If you are someone who loves to serve others, you are welcome at our table.”

On Tuesday, the kitchen will be open to serve low income and homeless individuals and families who live in and around Waxahachie. The coffee shop will be open from noon to 3 p.m.

The dinner will not be the most traditional, but will feature tasty, gourmet items from the restaurant’s menu and will be completely free of charge. Diners will be seated first-come-first-serve.

It is essential for Parvin to offer a safe and relaxing environment for those to enjoy a holiday meal.

Runner’s Refuge, a nonprofit that partnered with White Rhino, assists the homeless community, families who live in impoverished areas and communities in crisis through long-term disaster recovery programs. The organization is led by Rev. John Stout, who also serves as the chairperson of the Homeless Coalition for Ellis County. Through the initiatives of Runner’s Refuge, thousands of individuals throughout North Texas are served.

Most recently, Stout and volunteers with Runner’s Refuge provided meals to families who attend all 16 schools in Waxahachie before the holiday week.

"Every year, we do the Meals for Mission 75165 for the economically disadvantaged students in the schools," Stout elaborated. "The Mission 75165 donates and gets with the churches, and we provide gifts and meals. We've been doing that for several years."

The nonprofit has conducted outreach work with White Rhino Coffee for at least four years in Dallas and Cedar Hill, and now in Waxahachie for Christmas.

"They [White Rhino] are great to work with, they are amazing people who love their community," Stout emphasized. "They love serving, and that's huge for us because that's like that same DNA. We love helping people."

Runner's Refuge also partners with the Waxahachie High culinary arts department to provide the mobile kitchen for the Farm-to-Table dinner in the square.

"We do several things with Waxahachie throughout the year. It's all about giving back to our community," Stout said. "We office here even though our feeding opportunities are outside of here. Here is Waxahachie — our home — which is where you start first."

White Rhino Coffee + Kitchen is located at 414 W. Main St. in Waxahachie.

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450