In January, our Seattle Bloggers Unite meetup topic was “Bloggers Give Back”, and was an open discussion about blogging for causes. We are part of Go Mighty and have shared some philanthropic topics over the last year or so and its an important part of what we want this community to be: sharing how to help others.
After the group conversation last month, we were also introduced to Jeremy and Lindsey from Rescue: Freedom International, a local organization working to free victims of human trafficking. Its a tough subject, a really tough subject. I didn’t know much about it at the time, but some of their facts were eye opening. What spoke louder than the facts, though, was the heart behind these people who work SO hard to help individual victims in a real and meaningful way, as well as furthering larger policy conversations on a local and national level.
There is a real soul behind this organization, and that is especially evident in their fundraising campaigns. Instead of just putting forth facts and asking for money, Rescue: Freedom partners with local companies to produce a meaningful product that is a part of our everyday lives but that also has a quantifiable impact on their organization. Two of their major partnerships right now are with Caffe Lusso Roasters and Sozo Wines. When they invited us to a tasting of both of these to find out more about the good that these delicious products are doing for Rescue: Freedom, we jumped at the chance. I mean, coffee AND wine?! At the same time? duh.
The tasting was held at Caffe Lusso Roasters in Redmond, where Phil gave us an awesome demonstration on how a batch of coffee is roasted. We even got to make the secret Rescue: Freedom roast blend by combining different beans from around the world that Caffe Lusso sources. I knew a little bit about coffee roasting, but it was awesome to see the process from start to finish (each batch is only about 15 min!). The Rescue: Freedom roast is a unique custom blend that Phil developed for Jeremy and Co, and the awesome thing is each pound they sell pays for one day of care for a woman or child rescued from human trafficking.
While we waited for the roasting process to finish, we were introduced to a few bottles of Sozo Wines. The amazing thing about Sozo is that their entire mission is to produce world class wines that raise money to help those in need. When you purchase their wines, you can choose which organization your contribution will benefit (and they have tons to choose from!). But with Rescue: Freedom they took an even bigger step and created the Freedom blend specifically to help the lives of those freed from the sex trade. And let me tell you, these were fantastic bottles of wine. Not only is your money going to an amazing cause, but you are definitely getting something special in return.
After the coffee was roasted and the pouring complete, Phil whipped us up some amazing cappuccinos and also announced how many days of care they are able to provide so far: 151! He even handed over the first check to Jeremy. That’s half a year for one woman or child rescued from a life of sexual slavery, which is a pretty amazing feat if you ask me.
I think its so awesome that these companies have chosen to partner with such a poignant organization to help one step at a time. You don’t need to make a huge donation, just one pound of coffee, or one nice bottle of wine can make such a substantial difference. In fact, these are things you might get your sweetheart for this love holiday we have this week. If you’re going to buy something for loved ones this week, think about giving back at the same time by visiting the online shops of Caffe Lusso and Sozo and taking a gander. I promise you will not be disappointed.