‘Be Kind:’ Philadelphia man Joe Rinaldi makes connections via ‘Coffee with Strangers’

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — In this week’s “Be Kind,” they meet as strangers and leave as friends.

A Philadelphia man is making connections in his community one cup of coffee at a time.

Action News caught up with Joe Rinaldi and Carter Fox, who met for two cups of black coffee and a chat at the Volo Coffeehouse on Main Street in Manayunk.

It’s Rinaldi who makes friends out of strangers, and Fox was one of those strangers who answered his call.

“There was a Facebook group online; he went and published a post,” Fox explained.

Rinaldi, a physical therapist by trade, created Coffee with Strangers and has already met with dozens of neighbors.

“Usually everyone appreciates a free cup of coffee, so that helps,” Rinaldi said.

It’s about discovering a new perspective together with others.

“I feel like there’s some comfort in talking to a stranger. You get an unbiased opinion, you get a brand new perspective,” Fox said.

You’ll also gain insights through shared vulnerabilities.

“I have a genetic eye condition, I’ve been losing my sight since I was 10, so I’m on the road to blindness,” Rinaldi said. “I’ve had some pretty dark days and tough seasons, and during those seasons, just the little gestures of kindness — someone holding a door, asking how I’m doing, smiling at me — have made a big difference.”

Rinaldi is ready to meet neighbors and amass as many friends as possible.

“The next time I come to Main Street, I might meet Carter, who was once a stranger and is now just a good friend,” Rinaldi said.

Read more about Joe Rinaldi’s story on his blog.

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https://6abc.com/be-kind-coffee-with-strangers-joe-rinaldi-philly-coffeehouse/12111666/ ‘Be Kind:’ Philadelphia man Joe Rinaldi makes connections via ‘Coffee with Strangers’

Alley Einstein

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