Coffee Company Donates May's Revenue to Fight Slavery

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By Michelle A. Vu, Christian Post Reporter
May 26, 2009|11:05 am

A Seattle-based coffee company is doing what some might consider foolish during a recession – giving away 100 percent of its revenue from this month.

In contrast to coffee giant Starbucks, which is scaling back by closing hundreds of stores and laying off thousands of workers, Storyville Coffee Company has pledged to donate up to $1 million in revenue to International Justice Mission, a human rights agency that works to rescue victims of slavery, trafficking and other forms of violent oppression.

IJM was founded in 1997 based on the Christian call to justice in Isaiah 1:17: Seek justice, protect the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.

“We are so pleased that Storyville Coffee has made it possible for their customers to bring real change to the lives of children, women and men impacted by slavery and other forms of violent oppression,” said Amy Roth, director of media relations at IJM, in a statement to The Christian Post. “Our supporters and their customers have been energized by this unique opportunity to make a difference for the oppressed.”

More than 27 million people are held in slavery in the world – more than at any time in human history. Nearly 2 million of them are children exploited in the global sex trade each year.

“The cost of giving everything away for one month felt necessary when we stopped to consider the value of a rescued human life,” explained Ryan Gamble, co-president of Storyville Coffee Company, to The Christian Post.

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“At first we considered giving a portion of the profit away, but that didn’t feel right. Then we talked about giving all of the profit away, but that didn’t seem like enough either,” he said. “Ultimately we decided that anything less than everything would not be enough.”

As part of the Give It All Away in May campaign, Storyville will be on tour with musicians performing at 20 concerts in people’s homes across the country from San Francisco to Orlando.

The company’s goal remains the same – to bring together coffee lovers, but also this time to raise support and awareness for IJM and its global fight against slavery and human trafficking.

“At Storyville we roast and deliver the freshest beans. But it’s not just about the beans, it’s about your story and helping you tap into a ritual where you can think, be creative, and even dream,” Gamble said. "That’s why we’re helping International Justice Mission and the victims they rescue. Their stories matter, and we want them to be able to dream again.”

Musicians on the coffee tour include David Wilcox and Pierce Pettis.

On the Web:

www.storyville.com

www.ijm.org

 

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