Mercer is a host to a handful of meme accounts, but the owner of Mercer Affirmations has made it clear that she wants hers to be a meme account of the people.
Mercer Affirmations, whom The Cluster has previously referred to as "Affie" to protect her anonymity, has provided coupon codes for her "fellow students get their caffeine fix before classes started," she said. She has also begun to share social justice resources.
Now she has taken a direct approach to benefit the community.
The "Bestie Latte," a simple, flavored latte with a choice of colorful foams, is currently being served as a collaboration between Mercer Affirmations and Z Beans at Mercer Village. Proceeds benefit Depaul USA Daybreak, a Macon organization that benefits the homeless by providing services during the day including hygiene, education, employment and healthcare.
"I was wanting to give back to Macon in a way that was accessible to students here on campus," Affie said. "It’s hard to get involved and volunteer at times with how busy classes are, but I know how badly Mercer students want to make a difference."
The drink is iced, and customers are able to choose any flavor Z Beans offers. The thing that sets this drink apart is the colored foam, with a choice of pink, purple, blue or green.
Z Beans Director of Public Relations Mary Kathryn Stewart said that when Affie approached her with the idea to make a latte, she already had an idea brewing.
"I threw the idea to her of something we’d been working on—a tie dye latte concept," Stewart said. "After some trial and error on my part, the colored cold foam came to be, which she of course named the Bestie."
Originally, the Bestie Latte was meant to be served for just one week. By the end of the week, however, Affie says Z Beans sold over 280 lattes. Steward said the drink raised about $150 that week, which was presented to Daybreak Oct. 12.
The Bestie Latte is officially here to stay, as Z Beans announced that they are continuing to serve the drink with the Daybreak profit share.
"I am so excited to have a drink on the menu, but even more thrilled that the opportunity to serve Macon is continuing into the colder months," Affie said. "Support for homeless shelters during the winter is so crucial and we have the opportunity as students to keep people warm and fed."
As far as Mercer Affirmations’ philanthropic work goes, Affie says she is definitely interested in continuing to make an impact in the Macon community.
"I think the impact has progressed off of social media and into the culture of our campus," she said. "I hope to give back more to our community in the future. This is a great platform to reach students and to motivate them and I have every intention to use that ability."
Mary Helene Hall is a junior majoring in journalism. She is a Presidential Media Change Maker Scholar who has worked consistently for The Cluster throughout her time at Mercer. Mary Helene has received accolades for her work from National Public Radio, Discord, the Georgia College Press Association, and more. When she’s not working on a story, you can catch her reading a good book or enjoying the outdoors on Mercer’s campus.