Students Sell Coffee for Change
by Nina Taneja on Friday, October 21st, 2016
Over the past few weeks, Coffee for Change, a Milton student run organization which sells coffee for charity, has been flourishing. You may have tried its raspberry lemonade, admired its paper straws, or simply noticed students standing behind a counter avidly filtering coffee in the Student Center. Indeed, the business is currently selling their homemade cold brew, iced chai tea, peach green tea lemonade, and raspberry lemonade, with all proceeds donated to End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT). Originally started by Te Palandjian (I) in the spring of 2015, the stand sold drinks for a few weeks at the end of the 2014-2015 school year, for a few months last year, and is off to a strong start this fall.
Noticing a lack of quality coffee on campus, Te realized that she could fill the void and help charity all the while. Charis Palandjian (III), one of the club’s heads, describes that the stand “supplies students with a place to buy quality coffee and brings the community together.” With the new sign-out restrictions in place, many Dunkin, Starbucks, and Mary Lou’s regulars have been forced to get their coffee fix at school.
That is not to say that drinks from “C4C” are an inferior choice to chain store offerings. In fact, customers can customize their beverages with almond or regular milk, vanilla or caramel flavor shots, and sugar. Charis reports that the business also brews its own cold brew by buying whole Columbian beans, grinding them, and then filtering the coffee, resulting in strong, high quality brew. She describes the coffee in Forbes as “basically dish water,” so it comes as no surprise that Coffee for Change has several regular customers. The size of each drink is roughly a medium or “Grande” at Starbucks; a quick check of Starbucks’ prices reveals that each drink at Coffee for Change is also at least 25 cents cheaper.
Running this stand for most periods during the day is no easy task — it takes 50 volunteers, supervision, constant supplies and backup, five heads, a mini fridge and locked boxes to create sales and keep ingredients fresh. Julia Lebovitz (I), another club head, describes that the reason for the business’s success this year is its newfound organization. She says that the team has “been very organized with our supply and very eager and committed. We are lucky to have such a strong group of sophomores who basically run C4C during all of their shifts and make sure the stand is always clean!”
Julia adds that the “change” part of Coffee for Change sometimes gets lost, but the clubs’s dedication towards its charities “is a great way to make a difference while fueling Milton’s coffee addiction.” Shifts taken up by volunteers now count towards official community service hours, as the club is now linked to Community Engagement.
The current charity which Coffee for Change donates to is ECPAT International, an organization which aims to “end the sexual exploitation of children around the world,” according to its website. ECPAT International also states that “at the heart of [its] work are the voices of children, reflected across our research agenda, programmes and campaigns.” This message lets Coffee for Change customers feel they are doing something for others by simply buying a coffee. Molly Chiang (II) likes Coffee for Change because “it is made by [her] peers and is for a good cause.”
Coffee for Change will be introducing hot drinks soon, including lattes, black coffee, and maybe even hot chai. Te adds that “what is taking a little headache to figure out is how we want to make hot coffee and frothed milk this year–it needs to be efficient and still delicious.”
The club estimates that they sold 200 drinks in only its first full week; with its accessibility in the Student Center and good taste, hopefully this socially impactful trend will continue.
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