There are so many reasons why I love Barista Nation, the traveling one-day coffee conference and workshop session organized by Anastasia Chovan of Unic. Barista Nation has been held to great success in Minneapolis, Vancouver, B.C., and is set—with a capacity crowd—to make coffee history on November 10 in Woodinville, Wash., where it is being hosted by Kate LaPoint and Early Bird Coffee Roasters.
It’s incredibly fun, outrageously educational, and a perfect example of grassroots community building. But another reason entirely that I love Barista Nation is that it raises money for CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty which places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of disease, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives.
As a generous and crowd-pleasing activity, Unic gave away a Stella home machine at the first Barista Nation in Minneapolis last February. But in planning the second Barista Nation, in Vancouver, B.C., in early September, Anastasia—who was thunderstruck by the famine suffering in southern Somalia, as declared by the United Nations on September 5—decided to make the Stella giveaway decidedly more significant.
Barista Nation now regularly raises money for CARE as a means of specifically helping the starving women and children in the Horn of Africa. “The declaration of famine is an urgent plea for these people. It is the most critical thing I’ve seen in 22 years of field experience,” says Barbara Jackson of CARE. “Everyone I met had the same message: ‘Please tell the world for us that we need help, and that we need it now. We cannot last much longer.'”
With a $10 donation to CARE, you can do your part for those suffering in Africa, and also enter to win a Stella home espresso machine, to be raffled off at the Barista Nation NW event on November 10. You need not be present to win. Donate $10 to www.care.org and e-mail the receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org by Nov. 9 th, 2011. The winner will be announced at the Barista Nation NW event at 7pm. Contest good for U.S. and Canada residents only.