Meet the Lucy Foundation, a social enterprise that empowers people with disabilities through inclusive and accessible business. Last year, the Lucy Foundation ran phase one of their Coffee Project with us, and raised over $24,000 to empower five coffee-farming families in South Mexico. This year, they’re back for phase two: to increase production, and bring enough coffee back to New Zealand to enjoy.
But this is about much more than coffee. It’s about growing a business model that’s based on inclusiveness, that supports a community, and provides for income, opportunities and growth. But don’t just take it from us – we got in touch with Robbie from The Lucy Foundation to tell you all about it himself.
Why do you think this campaign’s important?
This campaign is important because disabled people make up the largest minority in the world. If you live to a good, old age, you’re going to develop at least one disability. It affects all people regardless of age, gender, class, nationality, religion or geographical location. In fact, it’s pretty much the only minority in the world you can unwittingly join at any time.
Yet, people with disabilities face higher levels of unemployment, lower levels of education and less access to healthcare than any other sector of society.
Recent results released by Statistics NZ show that disabled Kiwis are twice as likely to be unemployed in New Zealand and earn only half the average weekly income of non-disabled New Zealanders.
Disability rights are human rights. It’s what we do. It’s important. It affects us all.
What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?
In 2016, we launched a PledgeMe campaign for Phase One of the Mexico Coffee Project and thanks to the kindness of friends, family and supporters we raised nearly $25,000. Every dollar of this was used to empower coffee farming families to adopt inclusive and sustainable farming practices, bring together entire families regardless of (dis)ability, and to deliver specialty Pluma coffee to New Zealanders.
But that was just a taste of good things to come! We are again reaching out to those who know us, and those we have yet to meet, with an invite: let’s work together to expand and grow a business model that we know works. Besides, who wouldn’t want to get some pretty awesome pledge rewards from Mexico, while having a tangible impact on the environment, sustainability, and the lives of people with disabilities in New Zealand and Mexico!?
What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?
A couple of weekends ago we released the first batch of ethical, sustainable and inclusive Pluma Coffee and Cascara Tea (made from the coffee cherries) in Aotearoa New Zealand. We still have a limited amount left to share with you all, which we’ll be auctioning off in the coming week. Rumour has it, boxing gloves signed by Sonny Bill Williams will also be up for grabs (swoon!)… keep an eye on our Facebook page for forthcoming details!
Anything you’d like to shout out to your crowd?
It works! Inclusive and accessible business works! We’ve proven it! Now we need to make it an actual ‘thing’. We need your help to grow business and impact, and show more people how it’s done, so they too can develop a culture of inclusion and diversity within their businesses and communities.
Support our campaign, make a pledge and tell all your friends about the importance of sustainability, inclusion, equality and diversity within business.