As the holidays and my birthday approach—I’m a New Year’s Eve baby—I’ve been thinking about gifts for a guy like me: a coffee lover with plenty to be thankful for, including family, friends, co-workers, and many daily blessings. This year has been full of major challenges, miraculous breakthroughs, and important milestones. If your year has been like mine, maybe it’s time to pay it forward.
Paying it forward doesn’t need to cost anything. It could be a simple as doing random acts of kindness. Would you believe there’s a Wiki How guide to give you some quick suggestions?
Here are some great ways to express your love of coffee AND make the world a better place. The gift suggestions below might cost you a few dollars, but in my mind it’s worth it. You can donate to one or all of the causes below in the name of that special coffee lover in your life:
1. Cup of Joe for a Joe
Green Beans Coffee, of Larkspur, CA, is offering everyone an opportunity to express their support for our men and women in uniform through the simple act of buying a cup of coffee and having it delivered along with their own personalized message of thanks to a soldier serving overseas.
For a mere $2.00 plus a few minutes of time, you can send a little bit of home to a soldier deployed overseas and brighten a day. And in keeping with its continued commitment of service to our troops, Green Beans Coffee will contribute a portion of every purchase for CUP O’ JOE FOR A JOE to worthy service organizations that care for military families and children of the fallen.
2. Coffee for Peace
“It is simple to cause peace,” JJ Keki explains. “We use what we have to make our enemies into our friends. You don’t need PhDs. We have coffee.”
—LOVE this quote! From the August 2008 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Keki is founder & director of the Mirembe Kawomera Coffee Cooperative in eastern Uganda, an interfaith group of 1,000+ coffee growers: Jews, Muslims, and Christians. According to their website, these farmers formed a cooperative to build lasting prosperity in their villages and to spread a message of peace throughout the world. They named their coffee Mirembe Kawomera, or “Delicious Peace” in the Luganda language.
Together, the farmers have succeeded in doing something that they could not have accomplished as individuals. As they face the many challenges of life in rural Uganda, they look to their cooperative for hope and strength. Now the farmers are sending their children to school, earning enough to save and also reinvest in their farms. In the coming years, the Cooperative plans to invest in land and equipment, offer microfinance to members and contribute to a variety of public health and education projects.
They sell their coffee through the Thanksgiving Coffee Company. Looking for ways to support this effort? Buy “Delicious Peace” coffee for your friends as gifts, organize a buying club or sell their coffee as a fundraiser for your favorite organization. They also offer a gift box with the Delicious Peace documentary and a 12 oz. package of “Delicious Peace” Fair Trade coffee!
3. Grounds for Health
Cervical cancer is one of the easiest cancers to prevent yet it remains the #1 cause of cancer death for women in developing countries.
Grounds for Health provides coffee-growing communities with sustainable and effective cancer prevention programs, focusing on the early detection and treatment of cervical cancer in women. They partner with local health professionals to establish training and education programs so more women can get back to their children, their communities, and their lives. Currently, Grounds for Health is in Tanzania, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Get involved by donating time, money, hosting a promotion and more!
4. Coffee Kids
Coffee Kids is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping coffee-farming families improve the quality of their lives.
They work with coffee-farming communities in Latin America (including Peru, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Guatemala) to create alternative projects that provide income throughout the year, access to education and health care, and food security. The Coffee Kids Blog has wonderful examples of partnerships both with farmers and supporters. Check it out!
Let us know how you pay it forward. And, if you have additional suggestions, please share!