I do not know what it is like to go from middle class to below poverty level in less than 30 seconds. I have never had to sleep on the street, because there was no place to call home. I cannot fathom the depths of sorrow and pain that would accompany the loss of my entire family. I have never experienced the devastation of a natural disaster and lived to tell about it. I have never walked for miles begging for water. There has never been a time in my life when I needed medical attention, but none was available. I have never felt the hunger pains of starvation. Never have I contemplated giving away my children as their only chance of survival. I have never needed to have the strength to dig someone I love out of rubble because they were buried alive.
You probably have not either.
Yet this is reality for the men, women, and children of Haiti.
Below is an article about tea companies dedicated to help the citizens of Haiti. Rishi Tea, Teavana, The Tea Set, Tea 4 U, and Tavalon Tea – I applaud your efforts. The earthquake has ended and the aftershocks may have passed, but Haiti remains a country in devastation. As lovers of tea, we are a community. Today, I plea for my community to continue to give and/or give to Haiti for the first time. If you are not a tea company, but avid drinker and lover such as myself – let’s support those tea companies that continue to give to Haiti with our buying power and become part of the solution.
Below is an article in its entirety first published by World Tea News describing the efforts of tea companies to provide aid to Haiti:
|Tuesday, 09 March 2010|
|by Heidi Kyser
The 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated the island nation of Haiti happened nearly two months ago, on Jan. 12. But various businesses in the tea industry have responded – and continue to respond – by donating portions of their sales to relief efforts.
Last week, Joshua Kaiser, founder and president of Milwaukee, Wis.-based Rishi Tea, sent an e-mail to customers and contacts describing his experience during an earthquake in Nantou, Taiwan, where he has been going for twelve years to select the company’s Tae Guan Yin (“Iron Goddess of Mercy”) tea. During a tasting, Kaiser wrote, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck.
“I had never felt anything like it,” he said. “I felt so scared, vulnerable and lucky to be alive.”
Inspired, Kaiser wrote more about the experience on Food Thinkers, and through the month of March, Rishi Tea is donating 20 percent of all sales of Iron Goddess of Mercy tea to CARE, a private humanitarian organization that has been helping victims of the Haiti earthquake.
Atlanta, Ga.-based national tea store chain Teavana also partnered with CARE to contribute to the organization’s Haiti Emergency Relief Fund. Beginning shortly after the temblor and lasting through March 1, Teavana solicited donations on its Web site and matched all donations made by both customers and employees dollar-for-dollar.
According to a statement, Teavana has been working with CARE since 2006 to help people in countries where Teavana’s teas are grown.
Several other companies leaped to action following the earthquake. The Tea Set, based in New York City, donated 100 percent of the proceeds from all sales of its teas from Jan. 18 through Jan. 22 to Haitian relief via Rotary International. Starting Jan. 19,Tavalon Tea, based in New Jersey, donated 40 percent of the sales of its Serenity blend to UNICEF’s Haiti Relief Fund.
Tavalon’s UNICEF campaign ended in late February, but because the company wanted do more, it combined that donation with an event, Healing for Haiti, said Tavalon Tea Sommelier Chris Cason. He added, “I’m not sure of the exact numbers, but I can tell you that the event culminated in a total fundraising of $40,000 in one night between all of us.”
Individual entrepreneurs got in on the giving as well. Kirsten Kristensen, a tea coach with Tea 4 U, matched donations made to the Red Cross for Haiti by the Shore Women Business Network of New Jersey.
“The network of business entrepreneurs are collecting cash donations, and I guarantee to match the donations 100 percent,” Kristensen commented in a LinkedIn discussion on the topic of relief efforts.