Our local community is at the heart and soul of everything we do at Sidecar, and we are dedicated to sharing our appreciation. Each month we will partner with a different charity/non-profit group, and will donate a portion of our proceeds to the group, as well as team up with them on specific initiatives, events, and/or anything else fun they might have going on. We hope you will join us in our efforts to save the world…one doughnut at a time!

this month’s partner:

Mika

 “Poverty is the result of relationships that do not work, that are not just, that are not for life, that are not harmonious or enjoyable. Poverty is the absence of shalom in all its meanings. ”

Walking with the Poor, Bryant Myers

In 2003, four people from various local churches and community organizations came together around a single question: what can be done to address the social issues of Costa Mesa in a way that might truly transform the city?  They began looking to community development models around the U.S. and the rest of the world, and eventually articulated a vision for change.  This vision was grounded in the belief that the neighbors within low-income communities have ideas and assets that can be leveraged to make a positive impact.  From this vision, Mika Community Development Corporation was born.

Mika’s mission is to build whole relationships in Costa Mesa by working with whole families through the organization’s core strategies of Leadership Development and Community Building. Mika believes that healthy communities are built and sustained through systems that invite and foster participation of the neighbors within the community. Their community building strategy identifies and supports the leaders already living and working within the neighborhoods. Their commitment is wholly focused on building relationships to develop, train and equip leaders that have emerged from the communities and taken it upon themselves to initiate transformation and growth in their neighborhoods. Mika works to build the capacity of these leaders to identify, design, fund and manage initiatives that positively impact their neighborhoods.

While economic disparities are already clearly present in Mika’s target neighborhoods, there is also a breakdown in relationships that the organization believes contributes to the systemic poverty present in Costa Mesa.  These relationships are the ones individuals have with God, with self, with others, and with the rest of creation. These broken relationships help explain why many of the problems associated with low-income neighborhoods like violence, distrust of authorities, drug use, high school drop-out rates, teen pregnancies and unemployment are perpetual even though services and resources have been present for many years.

This understanding of poverty has shaped the way Mika chooses to respond. When poverty is defined solely in economic terms, solutions tend to be short term fixes to a larger problem and may lead to dependency on social services. The “unspoken assumption is that when the missing things are provided, the poor will no longer be poor” (Myers). Relief-based approaches, which provide temporary aid to reduce immediate suffering, can perpetuate the cycle of poverty that is found in cities across the country. Organizations already exist to provide services that address more basic relief to the poor, so Mika works to build whole relationships through leadership development and community building.

Mika’s kids & youth programs include After-School Tutoring, Mentoring, Youth Hangouts, Surf Club, & Summer Programs. And their adult program include English Classes, Women’s Support Group, Mika Leadership Institute, & Neighborhood Action Committees.

 

Previous Partnerships