Friends, I have been friends with John since 1992.
I wanted to ask: Will you please consider helping him and his family who have given all to help Christian and pro-life causes, and are now at risk of losing everything?
John has been on the front lines of the pro-life movement his whole life. From working with the Respect Life Commission of the Archdiocese of San Francisco as a volunteer growing up, to helping Crossroads, Coast to Capital get started while at Franciscan University. Additionally, John worked at and helped start many EWTN radio affiliate stations across the United States, including starting America's first-ever live pro-life radio show aired across the parking lot from a large Planned Deathhood where they asked tens of thousands to pray while Planned Deathhood killed 20-babies each Tuesday. John also led the way for life while lobbying US Senators and Congressman, governors and legislators, as the PAC Chair of a large Midwestern pro-life group; all leading up to he and his family starting America's Pro-Life Coffee Co in 2013... You can see that John and Family are all-in for Life!
John’s birth mother was only 15 when she was raped in late December of 1966; she made a brave choice in a changing world because in March of 1967, California legalized abortion. She and her family made a commitment to life and John was born to a 16-year old at the end of August, 1967.
What's the problem?
The Lillis’ have tried everything to overcome their financial challenges and are now at the end of their proverbial rope. It all began when they added an addition to their house in 2008, to accommodate their 7th child and just before the "Crash." The banks which had loaned them the money to build, refused to refinance their home and left them deep in debt. Nevertheless, years later, they tried to move to Phoenix in July of 2015 and their house was “sold” – seemingly solving their financial problems and putting them on a patch to join Paula's family in Phoenix - only to have the buyers back out at the last minute; thereafter, the house did not sell and this then drained their savings. Then, they rented. Once rented, the tenants failed to pay on a regular basis and they tried to have them evicted, twice - and twice, the judge has allowed the tenants to make payments and stay.
Now in Phoenix, with Lifeboat Coffee Store No1, a million things have mounted up and the expenses are challenging. To make matters worse, though it has been a blessing to be with Paula’s mom, the poor woman’s patience has worn out and after 18-months of six additional people living in two rooms in an otherwise smaller house, they need to go.
Why not just get jobs?
Great question. John started Lifeboat Coffee in 2013 as a way for Pro-Life organizations to raise money it has been a great tool and many Pro-Life groups have been helped. John has held several jobs and ran Lifeboat Coffee on the side. It turns out that John applied for many great jobs to supplement their Lifeboat Coffee income since they began building a brick and mortar store last summer; and our best guess is that since John spent so long in Catholic broadcasting, no one will give him a job; he’s even been turned down by Home Depot and Wal-Mart! Imagine that. Paula has debilitating arthritis and has a double-full time job raising children and helping their two oldest daughters with their 2-yr old son and 1-yr old daughter, respectively.
Beginning last August, John and Paula put the rest of their remaining assets into building the Lifeboat Coffee store. They were blessed to work with many people who helped with giant coffee subscriptions and more. Yet there were many delays. The city and county put up many road blocks; in addition, the landlord won't fix the doors after a break in attempt nor a leaking roof which has cost them a lot. They planned on having the store opened before Thanksgiving 2016 but with all the roadblocks with the city and county it did not open officially till January 22nd.
The Lifeboat Coffee store in Phoenix is starting-out strong, but not enough to overcome all of the financial challenges faced in their personal lives and the learning-curve challenges faced with running a retail store. The Lifeboat Coffee Co, both online and in-store, remain committed to helping the over 150 groups already affiliated with Lifeboat and many more, with 10% Cash-Back Pro-Life Rewards.
On behalf of the Lillis' and Lifeboat Coffee, I am asking you to prayerfully consider a gift to save their family and America's pro-life coffee co.