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Two women serving free coffee to commuters near Safford

Posted at 10:37 PM, Oct 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-13 01:42:13-04

SAFFORD, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) On the stretch of Highway 191 between Safford and Morenci, you can't miss Atisha Russom and Angel Owens.

You can see them cheerfully waving as you approach the Black Hills Back Country Byway. The two women have a booth set up offering coffee, caffeinated drinks and smiles to passing commuters.

"It lets them know that somebody cares," Russom said. "It's pretty simple, just to let somebody know you care about them. You don't have to know them to care."

The pair started "Coffee on the Straight" on October 3rd following a deadly crash in the area that killed 21-year-old Angelica Aranda.

Many of the passing drivers are mine workers in Morenci who may face a long drive home, Russom said. The two women wanted to do what they can to make sure they get home safely, even offering rides to people who couldn't make it to work or home.

Owens says so far the response from the community has been amazing. They have gotten donations from the Morenci Fire Association, Walmart, Bashas and other locals who just stop by to thank them.

In the mornings Russom says they have about 30 people stop by and in the evenings around 15 people.

Just as the sun was setting Tuesday night, Austin Klump stopped by Coffee on the Straight for the second time this week. He was facing a long drive home and more than an hour in the car. 

"I thought it was a good thing, helping people out is always good," Klump said. "I know I always get tired driving home on this road."

Klump says a lot of people have heard about the booth through word of mouth and through Facebook.

The women have a Facebook page set up called "Humanity Served With A Smile." 

Russom says they hope to get some kind of movable shelter built.