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Everything Broad Ripple HomearrowRandom Ripplings Homearrow2006 12 01arrowColumn

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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v03n24)
Coffee Corner - Coffee Kids - by Heidi Huff
posted: Dec. 01, 2006

Coffee Corner header

Coffee Kids

This time of year we're all looking to give a little bit back - 'Tis the season to be coffee conscious. I assure you that many coffee companies are doing their part. Above and beyond their own efforts, these companies contribute to outside charitable organizations like Coffee Kids. Coffee Kids, and other organizations like them, look out for the "little guys" a.k.a. coffee growing communities. In their own words, "Coffee Kids is an international non-profit organization established to improve the quality of life for children and families who live in coffee-growing communities around the world."
Coffee Kids was founded in 1988 by Bill Fishbein, owner of a specialty coffee company in Rhode Island. He traveled to Guatemala and witnessed the poverty level that coffee farming can create. Fishbein created Coffee Kids as a way for coffee consumers to give back to these farming families. Coffee Kids works in association with local non-governmental organizations in Latin America. They currently work in four countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Their major projects include educational programs, health care work, and economic development.
Though their project undertakings seem vast, a little help can go a long way. Take for example the small town of Ayahualuco, a small town in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Every year, nearly all of Ayahualuco's population traveled to a nearby coffee-growing region to harvest coffee. During this time, entire families (including small children) worked from sun up to sun down picking coffee. They lived in migrant camps and the children missed as much as three months of school. Coffee Kids began a microcredit program (a system of small loans) and within two years a large number of families no longer needed to make this migration. They were making enough money from their small businesses and farms making it possible to remain in their home community and keeping their kids in school.
Coffee Kids is a great organization, but they can't do it alone. They depend on you, me, and everyone in between to help support them in their efforts.
Their annual break down for contributions goes a little like this:
  • businesses 83%
  • in-kind 8%
  • individuals 4%
  • coin drops 3%
  • foundations 1%
  • merchandise 1%
Want to help? You can find out more at www.coffeekids.org. Here you will find a list of coffee companies that support the Coffee Kids mission. You can also donate, become a member, or purchase merchandise on their website.


heidi@broadripplegazette.com
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