AUSTIN, Texas (Nov. 16, 2011) —For less than a dollar, shoppers can fund a special needs school in Kenya, reduce waste and preserve their morning java – all at once – when they purchase a L.I.F.E. Jacket reusable cup sleeve with any Allegro Coffee beverage at Whole Foods Market.
All 99 cents from every handmade canvas sleeve sold goes to nonprofit Comfort the Children International (CTC) to empower Kenyan mothers to earn a living and ensure a sound education for their children. L.I.F.E. stands for Livelihood, Invest, Future, Empower – which is what the nonprofit aims to provide for poor mothers and children in rural Kenya.
“Buying a L.I.F.E. Jacket saves so much more than your coffee,” said Zane Wilemon, founder and executive director of CTC. “Many Kenyans believe that giving birth to a child with disabilities is punishment for committing a crime, and grounds to shun a mother and child from the community. Job opportunities become scarce and there’s no place for their children in public school. Through L.I.F.E. Jacket sales, CTC is putting an end to that vicious cycle.”
In 2008, CTC founded the first school for special needs children in the Kenyan Rift Valley, where students have since learned to walk, read, write and enjoy a healthy environment with other children. As an extension of the program, CTC added a tailoring room onto the school where they are teaching mothers how to sew the coffee sleeves and paying fair wages for their work. Through the program, mothers are regaining hope and self-respect, lifting their families out of poverty and – for the first time ever – sending their children to school.
“One small, split-second choice can bring a lifetime of change for a mother and her child across the globe,” said Jeff Teter, president and general manager of Allegro Coffee Company. “We’re proud to offer shoppers this easy way to give back as they go about their daily routine.”
Whole Foods Market’s Allegro Coffee Company® has a long history of being an active participant in the global community. In addition to ensuring responsible sourcing and equitable prices for all of its coffee and tea, it donates five percent of net profits to communities where it buys products. Through Allegro’s Special Reserve program the company provides $10,000 grants to four coffee farms annually to support community-based projects in education, health care and farm development.