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HIGHLAND LAKES VOLUNTEER MEETUP: Get that Numinous Feeling at May 26 Event

Alex Payson, owner of Numinous Coffee Roasters in Marble Falls, stands with his 5-year-old twins, Magnolia (left) and Zellam. The Paysons (Alex's wife Kathy is not pictured) have participated in the previous two Highland Lakes Volunteer Meetups and now prepare to host the May 26 Meetup. Staff photo by Jared Fields

MARBLE FALLS — Alex Payson switches from participant to host May 26 for this month’s Highland Lakes Volunteer Meetup.

As a volunteer at the two previous meetups, Payson was excited to list the benefits of joining him at Numinous Coffee Roasters, 715 RR 1431.

“We get the dopamine; we get to educate the kids; we actually help people when we go and volunteer; we make new friends,” Payson exclaimed. “And, sometimes, you get a good physical workout and you don’t even have to go to the gym — because you get it for free!”

Payson, his wife, Kathy, and their twin children have taken part in the previous two meetups. In March, it was in the garden at The Helping Center, and on April 28, it was at Mission Marble Falls.

Alex said the first two meetups were opportunities to learn more about local nonprofit organizations as well as have “free, wholesome family fun.”

“It’s corny, but it’s true,” Payson said. “It’s a good, safe environment to get our family out and make new friends.”

As Payson describes his past experiences at the Highland Lakes Volunteer Meetups, it’s clear he sees multiple benefits to attending that all are equally important.

Not only is the time he’s spending with his family important in the present, but he sees future benefits, too. Instilling the values of volunteering at a young age is something that is more likely to lead them to volunteer as adults.

“That’s another part of it that, as a parent, you’re wanting to spark that excitement, spark that candle in your kids,” he said.

Turning from family man to business man, Payson said the founding of the coffee shop aligns naturally with the meetups.

“Numinous, the feeling you get when you’re in the presence of something greater than yourself, we’re trying to foster that feeling in people,” Payson said. “Certainly, volunteering is one of the great ways to experience that numinous emotion, that numinous feeling.”

To help foster that numinous feeling at Numinous, Payson said he’s tried to be a mirror to the community.

“Our goal is to basically be a blank slate for what the community is asking for,” he said.

Currently, the community seems to be asking for volunteer opportunities.

“You’ve got the business, the nonprofits, and you’ve got the volunteers, and they’re all able to come together,” Payson said. “The more the community knows each other, the more we will work together and the better the community functions.”

And while volunteering for a couple of hours once a month helps participating nonprofit organizations, Payson said there’s a larger goal.

“If you find an organization that you then want to go work with once a week or once a month for the next year, that’s the real meat and potatoes,” Payson said. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”

So if you happen to visit Numinous any time between now and May 26, you’re likely to hear about the Highland Lakes Volunteer Meetup. It won’t be because Alex or the staff are trying to sell you anything; it’s built into who they are.

“Hopefully, it’s like a nice sticker burr that’s grabbing on more and more people everywhere it goes as it rolls around,” Payson said.

Join the burr at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 26, at Numinous Coffee Roasters. Register in advance online at 101HighlandLakes.com/MEETUP to volunteer that day with either Candlelight Ranch, the Phoenix Center, and a third nonprofit still to be determined.

jared@thepicayune.com

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