Saturday, May 7, 2011

Creative Causes

I feel like there are a million non-profits out there for various good causes. Zach and I are personally involved in World Vision and Mocha Club, but there are a few others that have caught my attention due to their unique and creative approach to solving some of the challenges in our world. I just love how people have used their passions and gifts to impact our community and the world for good. Anyways, here are four of my favs that I would love to help raise awareness about.

1. 100 Cameras
Since I am hugely passionate about photography, this one really speaks to my heart. 100 Cameras is an organization that recognizes children living in unjust conditions and gives them cameras to document their lives. Their photos are used to raise awareness and money to meet physical needs and growth within their communities.

I think this is seriously amazing and a genius idea. I am so moved by the photos and the lives that are given a purpose and a voice through the lens of a simple camera. It's so beautiful.

You can support 100 Cameras by buying prints, sponsoring a camera, or by giving a general donation or monthly sponsorship. Check it out!

2. Land of a Thousand Hills coffee
My sister encouraged me to stop by the Land of a Thousand Hills booth at the Orange Conference last week and I am so glad she did! Wow! What an empowering organization! Land of a Thousand Hills is all about bringing hope, forgiveness, grace, and peace to suffering communities through coffee farming. This mission began in 2001 in the devastated country of Rwanda after the horrific genocide in 1994 drastically changed the people forever.

This "commitment to excellence in coffee has brought dignity and hope to a nation that history suggested would never recover. A message of forgiveness is spreading through the hills of Rwanda, and by drinking Rwandan coffee, you promote justice in a place where injustice once reigned. Drink Coffee Do Good."

In response to the devastating earthquake in 2010, this organization recently introduced a new coffee farmed from the mountains of Haiti. Their goal is simple - "to rebuild villages and coffee farms, provide fresh water, and help Haitian coffee farmers experience life."

You can help by buying their coffee and merchandise, engaging your church, business, or local community with a Coffee Launch Kit, donating a coffee bike/ equipment (so awesome. I totally want us to do this since biking is a huge passion of Zach's), or a number of other great ways to contribute. Check out their website!

3. Make it Right Foundation
I was recently introduced to this organization by a guest at the Orange Conference. The Make It Right Foundation was actually established by Brad Pitt in 2007 after visiting the Katrina-devastated areas of New Orleans, specifically the lower 9th Ward.

The mission of this organization is to be a catalyst for redevelopment by building safe, healthy, sustainable, environmentally responsible homes with an emphasis on high quality design while preserving the spirit of the community's culture.

This is beautiful on so many levels.

The goal is to build 150 homes and they have 73 either identified, under construction, or completed. Check out all the photo galleries and maps of their progress! It is so cool to see so many architects and industry professionals coming together to rebuild this community in such a dramatic way.

If you are interested in contributing, you can help by buying merchandise or giving a donation.

4. King's Kitchen
King's Kitchen is a local restaurant in downtown Charlotte we actually visited this weekend. A few friends had mentioned it to me prior and I'm glad I finally got to check it out for myself. Local chef Jim Nobles opened this unique restaurant due to his two passions - serving God and serving food. Since Allie is such a little entrepreneur, I thought it was important for her to see how personal passions and gifts can be used in creative ways to help others, like maybe even her yogurt shop one day.

Kings Kitchen is an outreach of Restoration Word Ministries that gives 100% of the proceeds to feeding the poor in Charlotte, the region, and the world. Additionally, they partner with local ministries to provide employment opportunities for people in search of a new beginning. The restaurant is located in downtown Charlotte and serves up a hardy menu of new local southern cuisine.

Country cornbread
Meat and three

I don't have many good photos, but the interior is super cute and cozy. I am so glad we were able to support this ministry and help the people of Charlotte while helping to fill our own bellies. :)

It's so encouraging to me to see people using their passions and convictions to impact the world and help those in need.

Buy prints/ drink coffee/ build/ feed the hungry or whatever else you are passionate about and do good wherever you are!

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