ABC's 'Secret Millionaire' visits philanthropic Mesa coffee shop (w/ video) - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

ABC's 'Secret Millionaire' visits philanthropic Mesa coffee shop (w/ video)

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Posted: Monday, August 12, 2013 5:19 am | Updated: 9:46 am, Mon Aug 12, 2013.

Vanessa Martin has worked at the "Cup O' Karma" coffee shop since 2006. In that time, she's managed to sample pretty much everything in the place.

"Everything. There's not anything in here I have not tried," she said.

Serving up all that coffee over the years has sweetened Martin's perspective on life. She now sees the coffee cup as half full instead of half empty.

"You know, you get a little hardened, and you think about humanity, and you're like, blah, and then you see something like this happen, and you're like 'wow, there's people that care,'" she said.

And that's the point behind "Cup O' Karma."

It's a coffee shop unlike the others. It's a non-profit business run by dozens of volunteers, including battered women. Proceeds go toward helping women in need.

A few months ago, a documentary crew showed up with a willing volunteer.

"They wanted us to treat this volunteer just like any other volunteer, so we put him behind the counter of this coffee shop, we showed him how to run the espresso machine, how to make a frappe, how to grind our coffee," Monalou Callery, with the National Advocacy & Training Network, the group behind the coffee shop, said.

It turns out that volunteer wasn't who he claimed to be.

"What we found out, he wasn't your typical volunteer, he was much more than that," Callery said.

Within just a few weeks, the "Cup O' Karma" cafe had received a substantial gift... and for workers, a renewed faith.

"It gives us a lot of hope that at some point in time, anything can change in the matter of a minute," Martin said.

The show aired Sunday evening, and will be available for live streaming at this week. Visit for more information.

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