Holiday Gift Guide: Fair-Trade Coffee Set

Drugstore Divas received these items for review. All thoughts and opinions belong to Drugstore Divas, unless otherwise noted.

coffee-1I always see those commercials. You know the ones. “For the price of a cup of coffee,” they say, “you can feed a small child.” Or give them an education. Or feed the village. Whatever it is. And you donate money and get a photo and maybe letters from a child who is benefiting from the money you would have spent in a coffee shop.

And then I get the emails that say, “You can purchase a goat and a village can have milk.” You don’t actually get a goat. You just give money and expect that a goat will be given to this nation. And that someone in this goat-less town will actually know how to milk a goat so that the town really can have milk. And, you have to also hope that someone knows what a goat eats and how to make sure it won’t run away.

Who exactly gets my donation and what exactly is done with it, I want to know. I’m usually not a skeptic or cynical, but these causes always just seem a little confusing to me.

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And then I heard about World Vision.

Yes, they do they whole “you can donate animals” thing, and yes, they also have a sponsor a child program, but what stands out is World Vision has products that you can purchase that are made by and benefit people. Like the Fair-Trade Coffee Set. It’s 12 oz. coffee set blended by OneCup.org, using flavors from Ethiopia, Sumatra, and Costa Rica. It’s delivered in a gift bag of African fabric hand-sewn by local women. Also included is a hand-carved olivewood scoop. Your $65 donation benefits more than 200 orphans of the Kamba tribe.

Orphans of the same tribe are also benefited when you purchase the Hand-Carved Serving Spoons the site also offers for $65.

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According to the website: In total, there are 4.3 million children benefiting from sponsorship; 1.2 million of these children were supported by U.S. donors in 2013; the rest were supported by World Vision sponsors worldwide in 2013. There are 1,650 communities served.

That’s a lot of communities and a lot of children who are getting necessary help. These are not kids who are asking for iPads and other electronics. And, small aside, but I’ve seen giving trees in supermarkets asking for these types of Christmas gifts. I love to donate and help those in need, but I can’t justify getting an iPad as a donation item for someone I’ve never met when I’m not even getting something of that value for people I do know. The people who ask for jackets, pillows, items for Christmas dinner, those are the people who make my heart ache. As do the children and communities who World Vision supports. I can’t imagine that purchasing this coffee will mean that a dozen iPhones are shipped down to Kenya (where the Kamba tribe mostly resides).

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The site does say: We promise to honor your generosity and use your donation in the most effective way possible.

And I appreciate that. Because maybe these orphans need beds or diapers or, heck, a goat. I don’t know. And it’s not my place to decide. I’m not “purchasing” chickens and hoping these someone somewhere who needs that chicken donation. I’m purchasing a gift and my money will be donated where its needed. I like that. A lot.

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And, believe it or not, we actually really liked the coffee a lot too. This isn’t some cheap bean blend thrown in a bag. It’s actually good, strong, high-quality coffee. We opened it, ground it, and enjoy it quite a bit. Pete is so much more picky about his coffee than I am, and he was super impressed the first time we had this (and it’s really hard to impress him).

When you open the bag, the coffee smells is really strong. And when you look at the beans, you can see how oily they are. You can actually almost see that in the photos. Oily beans are actually a good thing when it comes to coffee (in case you weren’t sure). And it’s a 12oz. bag, which is nice. Most coffee you buy in the store is between 10oz. and 11oz., so you’re getting a little bit more for your money.

Okay, you’re getting a lot more. You’re helping out the less fortunate. It’s a big deal.

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You can check out the full catalog here. You’ll see the items available for purchase, along with who they are helping (and the amount that you can deduct on your taxes). Pay special attention to the African Soapstone Box. I can’t tell you why now, but just take a peak at it and then come back to Drugstore Divas tomorrow.

That’s all I can say.

This post is part of Drugstore Divas’ 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. For all posts in this guide, check out the image below.

  1. Vicki Wurgler

    December 15, 2014 at 8:35 am

    our sunday school children collect money at Eastertime and then donated the money to buy an animal

  2. Aria H.

    December 15, 2014 at 10:14 am

    World Vision is a top-rated charity on charitywatch.org with a grade of A-. My stepdaughter just took a college class on African storytelling, so I might purchase something with a donation and give it to her.

  3. Sandra Watts

    December 26, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Great charity. Great coffee. Thanks for the review.

  4. Tanya Jones

    December 26, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    That seems like a great charity. I am all for fair trade products that benefit the community that makes them.

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