“Pilot Pete’s Coffee & Treats” owner delivers over 6,000 coats with warm cups of coffee to the homeless of Chicago

“You never know where someone has been or what someone’s been through before meeting them,” Peter says.


What we do for those who are less fortunate speaks a lot of us as human beings. In times of need, we should always stick for one another because that’s the only way of making this world a better place for everyone.

Meet Peter Thomas, a young man who is doing a huge change in the lives of the homeless people living in Chicago. Pete owns a coffee shop, Pilot Pete’s Coffee & Treats, located at the suburban Chicago train station. His shop is welcoming and everyone around loves this man not only for his hardworking nature, but also for all he does for the community.

He started his business back in 2011, and despite the difficulties he has been experiencing because of the pandemic, he’s still going strong. For seven years now, Peter is the man behind the Coffee with a Purpose initiative, which offers free coffee, treats, coats, warm clothes, as well as personal hygiene items for the homeless. For that purpose, Peter, who brewed up 40 gallons of coffee, together with Rough Edges Confectionery, who provided the baked goods, Good Move Movers, who provided the 26-foot moving truck and a driver, and Angel Fancy Design Studio, who made the custom truck signage, made six stops throughout greater Chicago.

According to Peter, the number of people in need of the items Annual Coat Drive was offering this year was greater than before mainly because of the effect the pandemic had on the society. As we all know, a lot of people lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. From November 1st to February 1st, the period when the Annual Coat Drive takes place, with the help of the community, over 6,000 coats were distributed around Chicago.

“[When]we made this effort, all the shelters were on lockdown,” Peter said in an interview with the Elmhurst Independent. “No one was allowed in or out, that is, once you’re out, you can’t get back in, so there are more and more homeless people… This is a good year to be extra giving.”

“You never know where someone has been or what someone’s been through before meeting them,” he added. “With the homeless, we treat everyone the same or equal.”

According to Peter’s mom and everyone who knows him, he’s one of the most considerate and helping people there are.

“I love working with coffee as a tool of motivation to fuel and ignite people to soar beyond their expectations and to soar beyond society’s expectations,” he said. “I’m fueling them and caffeinating them to do something better… something that will make them feel good about themselves so we can all grow together as one coffee family and fly beyond greatness.”

As he has done a lot for the community, now the community wants to give Peter back by signing the petition for his coffee to remain inside the new Elmhurst Metra Station that is being under construction. If you want to help Peter, you can sign here.