Since starting a full time job in February, buying lattes has bumped up from an occasional luxury to a regular occurrence. I have been averaging a good seven and a half hours of sleep per night, so it’s not that I always need the caffeine, but when I walk past a high quality, direct trade coffee shop on your way to work every single day how can I not support that? With every coffee I have purchased since going full time, I have been slowly reminded of the Mocha Club, an organization that asks people to donate the cost of a few mochas a month towards changing the lives of others in Africa. I first heard about it and signed up a few years ago through Matt Wertz, a Nashville singer-songwriter who I have been to see many times. When I quit my job in Tennessee, I also had to resign from the Mocha Club. It broke my heart a little, knowing that my lack of income meant that I could no longer support others whose need was greater than my own.
Last month, I went to see some of Nashville’s finest, Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, when they played in NYC. The female lead Ellie, is the sister of a friend of mine from Knoxville. (Sidebar: for those of you engaged couples hunting for a sweet and not too sappy first dance song for the wedding, check out “Hung the Moon.”) Halfway through the set, Ellie began telling the story behind the scarf she was wearing, made by an organization called fashionABLE. fashionABLE offers freedom and a sustainable business for women coming out of poverty and prostitution. Each handcrafted scarf is named after the woman who made it, and comes with a note telling the buyer what the purchased of her scarf enabled her to do to. As Ellie donned her scarf on stage, she explained, “I wear one almost every day because it serves as a physical reminder that me that the world is bigger than just me and my every day experience.”
As it turns out, the Mocha Club has partnered with fashionABLE. Of course I would go to a concert where the artists are Mocha Club members as I was being reminded so strongly of the Mocha Club. I was actually grinning from ear to ear as Ellie talked, knowing that my being there and hearing the story of fashionABLE was no mere coincidence. I believe it was one of those moments where God showed up and blatantly answered a prayer. I had been debating whether or not to rejoin the Mocha Club for weeks, and there I was, being directly asked to become a part of it again. So of course I signed myself back up. That night, as a thank you for joining, I received a scarf made by Etanesh, and a card that touched my heart. It said, “I am ABLE to see my son, Abel, grow in character.” If you would like to be a part of the good things the Mocha Club is doing in the world (for as little as seven dollars a month!), join my team. How incredible is it to know that by a simple act of sacrificing a few cups of coffee, you can change the trajectory of someone else’s life?
What practices do you maintain that remind you of the bigness of the world and its need? Do you have favorite organizations who are making a big impact in small ways?