“I’m thankful for the Commons because of the community it gave me. It really helped me to blossom into the person I wanted to be. For the first time, I felt like I belonged somewhere, and I’ll always treasure those memories. It gave me a haven from a bad home life, so that I never wanted to leave! I’m thankful for the healthy environment of The Commons. Although I never totally confided about it, the Commons changed my life.”

A volunteer barista


“I am grateful for the incredible staff and the drive towards ultimate teamwork at the Commons Coffeehouse, and the friendly environment that the Commons provides.”

A volunteer barista and Friday Night Live performer


“I am thankful for the opportunity to get to know so many new and wonderful people through my work with the SWC. I’ve met inspirational and talented teens, 20-somethings, many in the middle, and 80-year-olds I can’t keep up with! I am truly blessed.”

A member of the South Whidbey Commons board of directors

“I am thankful that the Commons provides a place for teens to get together in a comfortable, accepting, and vibrant environment. It is a joy to watch these kids grow in body, mind, and spirit over time. I know many of these kids from my time at the schools, and we are making a huge difference in their lives.”

South Whidbey Commons customer, volunteer, and member of the Board of Directors


“I am grateful for a community laboratory where middle and high school students can apply their classroom learning and develop the skills needed for future employment and real life situations.”

South Whidbey Commons customer and retired educator


“I am grateful for a staff who lives and demonstrates the Commons’ mission every day. They do not treat the Commons as a “job,” but as a passionate belief/action/commitment. Thank you for everything.”

A member of the South Whidbey Commons board of directors


“In the mid-1990s, the most popular gathering place for local teens and 20-somethings was in the shadows of McLoed Alley between the back door of the Clyde Theatre and the Star Store. It was a dispiriting scene—knots of kids with nowhere else to go, really. Now all that’s changed. From its beginnings as the Golden Otter, the little house on Second Street has blossomed into the present-day South Whidbey Commons—a coffeehouse and bookstore and true hub in the heart of Langley that’s attracting a lovely generational mix and a steady flow of events worth attending to. An awesome achievement for all involved! I am grateful.”

A South Whidbey Commons supporter and customer


“I am thankful that the Commons is helping us meet such great people! It is hard to put in words how everyone has made us feel right at home. We both feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to volunteer for this place. Thank you!”

A U.S. Navy couple, both volunteer baristas


“At the South Whidbey Commons, I am thankful for those who give of their time and abilities to meet the needs of others, for community members who are invested in sharing life with those around them, for laughter, simple happiness, deep joy, and pride in a welcoming home-style community space.”

South Whidbey Commons Director


“As you know, I am a senior and what I enjoy most at the Commons is kibitzing on the young folks. Not much chance of that at Brookhaven, so I hope they don’t mind. They seem bright and happy and they are always courteous to me. I enjoy their gossip and their fashions and listening to them study together. I enjoy it when they bring their instruments in to play and wish there were more of that.”

South Whidbey Commons customer and Friday Night Live performer

“I am so thankful this past year for our incredible South Whidbey Community, who recognized the need for an emergency remodel and then dug in to give their time, talents, and financial support to the South Whidbey Commons community gathering space. That, coupled with a staff, ongoing volunteers, and a Board who gave to the max. . . this made profound gratitude a daily experience for me.”

South Whidbey Commons customer and member of the Board of Directors


“I am so thankful for a welcoming place to gather, whether with my five-year-old grandson over a cookie and hot chocolate, or with my 97-year-old mother over chicken curry soup and a cup of tea.”

South Whidbey Commons customer, volunteer, and member of the Board of Directors


“I have gratitude for warmth, coffee, hearts, kindness spirited in love . . . thank you for an everlasting community hug!

South Whidbey Commons customer


“One year ago January 15, I moved to Whidbey Island. I began working on the remodeling of the South Whidbey Commons Coffeehouse. I knew I was becoming a part of something special. From Jim and Jo, Gena, Molly, Justin, Rosey—all these people created what we see and feel today. Community, the love, the caring . . . grace shines everywhere here amongst the books, the music, the kids, and the coffee. When I walk in here, every time, I remember how cloudy and dark I was just one year ago. I’m grateful today—because of this place, the sun is sure bright in my life, Thank you all!”

South Whidbey Commons volunteer and customer


“I am grateful for the spirited community gatherings, relaxed venue, and delicious treats to enjoy with every visit. On a deeper level, I am proud to be able to experience this place from ‘the grounds up!’ Thank you and best wishes always!”

South Whidbey Commons customer and Island County elected official


“As a ‘coffee shop person,’ that is, one who loves to go and hang out in coffee shops, the Commons is about as close to perfection as you can get. I am so grateful that there is a place where I feel comfortable bringing my books, my journal, and my computer and camping out for several hours. I am grateful that I can see many different generations sitting in the coffee shop, all ages at the same time. And, of course, I love that almost the entire staff is volunteer. How great is that?!

South Whidbey Commons customer


“I am grateful that students and adults have a place to work, learn, play, grow together; melting away any prejudices they may have about the other generation.”

South Whidbey Commons customer and member of the Board of Directors


“It’s comfortable . . . less commercial than other coffee houses. The student-baristas are generally friendly and engaging. It feels good to know that I’m helping them acquire and develop new skills and work experience every time I go there.

“I particularly appreciate the evening musical events. Nice to have a place to go after dinner. . . to hang out and support local artists.”

Longtime Langley resident and South Whidbey Commons customer