Beyond the Cup: Empowering Youth in our Community

Beyond the Cup: Empowering Youth in our Community

Feb 19, 2024

The focus at Everyday People Coffee & Tea has always been on people. From returning equitable wages to the farmers who grow our products, to allocating a percentage of product sales toward supporting our community, we are always finding ways to give back to those around us.  As the historian, playwright, and activist Howard Zinn once pointed out, “small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can change the world.” At Everyday People Coffee & Tea, each bag of coffee or tea sold is another small act towards that goal.  

Youth in Need: A Disturbing Reality

Some of the most vulnerable in our society are those under the age of 18, yet more than 98,000 youth across the U.S. faced the challenges of homelessness and food instability in 2022. On a more localized scale, The Maryland Interagency Council on Homelessness reported more than 23,000 people experiencing homelessness in our neighborhoods in 2021, approximately 4% of whom were unaccompanied youth. The report also mentioned that the death rate of those experiencing homelessness is approximately three times that of the general population, while the average life expectancy is 30 years less. 

Young people in need may also find it challenging to partake in important aspects of childhood that are crucial for developing minds, such as school, extracurricular activities, and time with friends. Children and young adults need more than just the basics to survive, and we believe that empowering youth in education and the arts is not just a choice, but a necessity. 

Organizations Supporting Youth Empowerment

To put our money where our hearts are, a percentage of profit made from all coffee and loose leaf tea sales goes towards supporting some amazing organizations around the Baltimore-Washington Metro Area. These organizations help youth, families, and the environment, with the focus on youth education immediately impacting thousands of children and teenagers each year. By fostering the knowledge, confidence, and creativity to take ownership of their individual lives, it leaves a positive rippling effect on their families, neighborhoods, and society. 

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the organizations that benefit from each Everyday People Coffee & Tea purchase. 

So What Else

So What Else works hard to support children in underserved communities around the Baltimore-Washington Metro Area. From providing them with food and basic necessities to arranging ways for them to expand their minds outside of school, this foundation uses transparent, sustainable business practices to serve their community. 

They provide between five and ten meals per week to approximately 22,200 people through their walk-up pantry, neighborhood distribution programs, and emergency deliveries. 212,455 children also take part in their out-of-school youth development activities that range from STEM to sports programs, and volunteer opportunities allow participants of all ages to give back. 

Hearts & Homes for Youth

Hearts & Homes for Youth cares for individuals who have endured various forms of abuse, neglect, and trauma, including mental health issues and homelessness. Since 1964, this nonprofit organization has aimed to help youth process and overcome the repercussions of these experiences, giving them the skills to make positive choices and lead fulfilling lives. Their programs include group homes, foster care, and aid for young mothers, as well as a workforce readiness program for teens.  

Best Buddies International

Best Buddies International helps individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) learn the skills needed to be self-sufficient and successful in life. Through integrated employment, leadership development, inclusive living, and one-to-one friendship opportunities, they’re the world’s largest non-profit organization with programs in all 50 states and 49 countries worldwide. 

Creativity is Essential for Development

According to the Springer Nature Neuroscience Community, creativity is “an act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain.” Social events and hands-on activities foster creativity and problem-solving, both of which are essential for growing minds to build the knowledge and confidence needed to thrive as adults. 

New research continues to emerge about the ways in which different types of creative processes activate different regions of the brain. Engaging in creative thinking establishes new neural pathways that enable students to problem-solve and identify important connections. That’s why programs that utilize a hands-on approach, such as many of those sponsored by the above organizations, have successfully helped participants navigate many of the challenges faced by youth today. 

At Everyday People Coffee & Tea, we believe that prosperous communities are only possible through collaboration and mutual support, and Howard Zinn’s wisdom is echoed in each of our products. With every cup of coffee or tea, you’re not just enjoying a beverage, but you’re taking part in a collective effort to empower youth and change the world. 

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