The Make Shift Coffee House is a growing community-based project created by Good Group Decisions Inc., executed by volunteers, and aimed to facilitate dialogue on hot-button political issues.

The next Waldo County session will take place Thursday, Feb. 8, in Dirigo Grange Hall, Route 137, Freedom, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. All are welcome.

Make Shift Coffee House works to bridge our national divide by helping people understand the basis for each other’s political views. Each event has a particular focus; on Feb. 8 the group will focus on government handouts. When is it OK for our government to hand out money? And when is it not OK?

People will be encouraged to explore their political differences as well as areas of common interests, and participants will be asked questions that prompt critical thinking. How do you feel about government entitlement programs for people in need? Poor people? Single parents? People needing health care? How do you feel about government tax breaks for corporations? For job creation? Real estate development? New product development?

Craig Freshley of Brunswick facilitates these events with a neutral, encouraging tone using his experience as a professional meeting moderator. He is the founder of Make Shift Coffee House and the owner of Good Group Decisions Inc.

The sole purpose of a Make Shift Coffee House is for people to hang out and understand the reasons for each other’s political views. To help make this happen, the Make Shift Coffee House has live music, free food and coffee, and lots of friendly conversation.

Feedback from prior events:

“Make Shift Coffee House made me realize that political discussions are worth having, because most Americans really do want what’s best for everyone. My experience there also encouraged me to read — and talk to others —about beliefs that are different from my own, without feeling immediately threatened or repulsed by them.”

“The Make Shift Coffee House is a brilliant example of collaboration. I am inspired and encouraged by this growing community effort. It feels like the essence of patriotism and love of our country.”

“I thought it was worthwhile and challenging to speak and listen rather than demonize. The surface was scratched, but I have a lot more listening to do.”

For more information go to, email or, or call the office in Brunswick, 729-5607.