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La Terza Coffee: Blessing not Burden Blend

Recently, a gal named Carly Pritchard sent OSJ the best kind of email. It was a creative kind of email, asking if she and the coffee company she worked for might be able to help raise some financial support for the work that the OSJ does.

Um, yes!

But who is Carly Pritchard? And why does she, or her coffee company, care about the Christian Reformed Church and its engagement with justice? We were curious, and thought maybe you’d be curious too.

Kate: Carly! How did you discover the Office of Social Justice? 

Carly: I met Kris VanEngen at the Jubilee Conference in Pittsburgh when I was in college. He was unveiling the OSJ’s “Blessing Not Burden” campaign at that time, and since I have been personally blessed by so many immigrant/refugee communities, I wanted to stop by and learn more. (And take a selfie!) I wasn’t aware of the CRC before that.

I signed up for all the newsletters, including the weekly prayer blasts. As a believer, I want to know what’s going on around the world and leverage the power of prayer in all of it.

What makes you care about immigration? 

God placed it on my heart a while ago to love and serve the Latin-American population. My home church has a longstanding relationship with a church in the Yucatán (Mexico) and I started serving down there a few times throughout highschool. I instantly fell in love with the culture, food, and people of Mexico… there are so many ways their culture has blessed ours. 

Upon returning from my first trip, I had a strong desire to master my Spanish so I could better connect with my new friends in Mexico and better serve my neighbors here in the States. I continued studying Spanish all through school, and eventually graduated college with degrees in Spanish and Business. 

I feel called to love “the least of these” in all capacities, and unfortunately, the immigrant population in the U.S. is facing a lot of challenges. I want to love these people like Christ commands us and my faith compels me to "welcome the stranger" (Matthew 25:35 NIV). In doing so, I’m serving Jesus himself. 

How can the simple choice of where we buy our coffee be an act of justice?

Where we spend our money is absolutely tied to what we believe about fairness and justice! We can’t be “for justice” and be unwilling to have our purchases reflect that. Coffee is oftentimes a slave-made product through various forms of indentured servitude. Buying coffee ethically (from a company that is transparent about their sourcing and ensures a living wage all throughout the supply-chain) is crucial for putting our faith in practice. It is oftentimes more expensive for the consumer to adopt these buying habits, but choosing ethical coffee is a great first step in honoring the people that grew it. It helps support our brothers and sisters and extends dignity and respect to individuals who are so often taken advantage of in their craft.

What makes La Terza, the company you work for, special?

La Terza is a specialty coffee roaster, meaning our coffee has to meet certain quality standards before even reaching our facility in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is sourced from small farms and cooperatives that pay workers a living wage (oftentimes much more than the minimum wage for any given country). The coffee is then roasted by our Master Roaster and delivered fresh within 24 hours so that we can provide the best cup of coffee possible, honoring all the hands that came before us. Our mission is to supply coffee shops and cafes with everything they need to be successful so that they can focus on what matters: creating thriving spaces for people to gather in community! At La Terza, we believe that coffee creates community and that many times “community” extends far beyond your own backyard. We are so blessed by our direct-trade partners in Honduras and want to support them and our newest neighbors who are seeking residence in the U.S.

You reached out to the OSJ about a special fundraising project -- the profits of the retail sales would be split between six organizations, including OSJ, that you guys felt were addressing the immigration crisis in different ways. We’re so grateful for this creative, supportive idea.

We are so stoked to be partnering with CRC and OSJ for this project— because we're definitely blessed (big time!) by immigrant communities, we want to bless others through our special edition coffee collaboration. 

Thank you for the opportunity to seek justice alongside you all!

Buy the Blessing Not Burden Blend here!  


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