Every day in sub-Saharan Africa, one child in ten under the age of five dies of a preventable cause, and nearly every day in America eight in ten adults consume coffee. What do these numbers have to do with each other? A lot, according to the One Cup Project, which is using America’s love for coffee to reduce the number of children dying in Africa by converting coffee profits into life-saving aid.
The One Cup Project started in 2010, when Christian Kar, the founder of an award-winning Seattle-based coffee company, partnered with the Christian humanitarian aid organization, World Vision. Initially, God used a mission trip to Kenya and Richard Stearns’ book The Hole in Our Gospel to call Kar into action on behalf of those living in poverty. Since that time, the project has generated more than $199,000 of aid to help hurting people.
Remarkably, every dollar spent on One Cup Coffee generates a dollar of aid for Africa. This sustainable dollar-for-dollar match is made possible by an innovative use of profits and grants. Profits taken from the sale of One Cup Coffee are multiplied by matching grants until they generate an amount of aid that equals the purchase price of the coffee. World Vision then puts these multiplied funds to good work in Africa. So far, project funds have been used in Zambia (Food Security, Agriculture and Nutrition, AIDS, and Economic Development) and the Horn of Africa region (Emergency Famine Relief). One Cup is unique and revolutionary. Never before has an everyday, high-consumption product been positioned to generate charity on a dollar-for-dollar basis—with no purchase limit.
There are many ways to get on board with The One Cup Project, particularly if you love great coffee.
1. First, you can help change the world for the better by simply changing the coffee in your pantry, and helping others do the same. You can easily purchase award-winning, aid-generating coffee online at www.onecup.org. Your freshly roasted order will be shipped directly to your doorstep and every dollar you spend will generate a dollar of aid for World Vision’s work in Africa. To help you get started, when you order a month’s supply (3 bags) of the coffee of your choice at www.onecup.org and enter the promotion code: NEW ID, you will receive a free bag of extraordinary Direct Trade Ethiopian Harrar, which also supports church planting. With an extra click, you can keep your coffee coming, and the aid it generates going. Simply choose an interval of every 1 to 8 weeks and your order will arrive like clockwork.
2. One Cup supplies organizations and businesses, particularly cafés, churches, and offices, with coffee at wholesale prices. Organizations’ existing coffee budgets can be transformed into mission funds without increasing their overall expenses—simply by serving One Cup Coffee to their patrons, members, and staff. Now every dollar they invest in serving great coffee will generate a dollar of aid for our neighbors in need in Africa. If you know of an existing missions-minded church, business, or coffee shop, please encourage them to partner with One Cup.
3. Finally, various groups often have fund-raising campaigns for such things as sports teams, schools, ministry projects, youth camps, and mission trips. One Cup’s ‘Two-for-One’ fundraising program makes it possible for groups to raise all the support they will need for their cause while continuing to generate aid for World Vision’s work in Africa. Participants pre-sell bags of coffee to everyone they know, keeping $4 per bag for the local ministry. The rest of the $12 retail purchase price pays for the coffee and generates dollar-for-dollar aid. There are no upfront costs, and it’s easy to run.
As a grassroots effort with minimal marketing expense, One Cup relies a great deal on partners to spread the word using whatever platforms God has given them. Buy some coffee, put up a post on your Facebook page, ask your church, local café, or workplace to change their coffee, or run a One Cup Fundraiser. In doing so, you just may help hurting people find healing, hope, and life. Change the world for the better, one cup at a time.