The Brown Note Community Foundation was named LKNConnect’s Outstanding Non-Profit for December 2019. A series of 4 articles were published. You can read about the organization, its programs, its collaborative efforts in the community, and how you can volunteer. —EH Stafford, Managing Editor


The Brown Note Community Foundation or (TBNCF) is a new nonprofit organization serving the Lake Norman area. The simple and yet profound mission of this burgeoning organization is to “engage our neighbors in a conversation around community support and to empower the individual to make a positive impact.”


The P(our)CH (

The flagship program for The Brown Note Community Program will be a unique drive-up mobile coffee shop, The P(our)CH. Serving Smelly Cat Coffeehouse coffee and local dairy, we will operate as a year round fundraiser for school programs in need of support. We received our nonprofit 501(c)3 tax designation approval in March of 2019 and are excited to be one step closer to serving coffee to our neighbors on the go!

By supporting educators and students through fundraising with local, sustainable products, TBNCF believes that we can make an impact in the Lake Norman community. While we work to earn grant money, you can help by taking our 3 minute survey and tell us about your coffee habits! No personal information is required. Simply visit No personal information is required.


In the meantime, The Brown Note Community Foundation has three other active community programs that facilitate person-to-person connection.


Painted Thanks (


Together with the children of the Lake Norman area, our Painted Thanks program uses art to express gratitude for the police, fire fighters, and veterans in our community. At festivals and in schools, we invite our smaller community members to paint a wooden star token to show appreciation for our service men and women. Stars are distributed in person and through Richard’s Coffee Shop Welcome Home Veterans in Mooresville. .




Think Piece (

Our Think Piece program is dedicated to encouraging life-long learning and providing our neighbors with opportunities to create. Thriving on collaborations, this program empowers makers to create for a cause. We are currently accepting handmade knit or crocheted hats that will be donated to Fight the Good Fight, a Lake Norman brain tumor awareness nonprofit, through the end of January. In February, you’ll find us at Hearts on Fiber in Davidson teaching a fun crochet class and introducing our next collaboration!


Think Piece Recycles (

Think Piece Recycles is shining a light on sustainability while also cleaning up our landscape! Volunteers collect and process plastic bags from our community into balls of “plarn” or plastic yarn. Then using that material, we crochet a reusable shopping bag.


More than 5,000 plastic bags

Each handmade bag is made from the plastic of 70 grocery bags. To date, we have upcycled more than 5,000 plastic bags from the Lake Norman community. To find out more about earning service hours or to see our unique, handcrafted reusable shopping bags go to


For more information

To learn more about us and find out how you can get directly involved, visit and take our short survey. Also find us on Facebook and Instagram @tbncf.



All too often the desire to get involved is ever-present, but the “how” is the tough part. Let The Brown Note Community Foundation be your first step in making your “how” happen.




Sarah Varnado is the Founder and Executive Director of The Brown Note Community Foundation. She was born and raised in South Louisiana. Her family of four has enjoyed living in Huntersville for three years. With a background in early childhood education, she is fulfilling a passion to support teachers and to spread joy through this non-profit work.