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changing the world one cup at a time

Beginnings

August, 2009

Changing the world.

It seems like an impossible task but everyone seems to be talking about it, especially The Millennial Generation. "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." These are the words that helped to elect a President – Barack Obama. Regardless of what you think about his ideas, the promise of change is part of why he won the election. Change is what Americans desire and what the world desires.

But how?

Margaret Mead, a 20th century anthropologist, had a great idea when she wrote, "Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." This is what we hope to accomplish with Overflow Coffee Bar.

The mission of Overflow Coffee Bar is to give South Loop residents, students and workers the opportunity to change the world. Consider the following facts. § After oil, coffee is the second most widely traded product in the world. Its impact on human cultures and the natural environment extends literally around the world. Every cup of coffee we buy and drink connects us with the world. § Volunteers are the backbone of any great movement. People have the power to meet the needs of humanity. There is nothing more rewarding than devoting your time, energy and passion to help your neighbors and give back to your community. § The Arts communicate world changing messages. Artistic expressions have power to question assumptions and create solutions. Local artists have unique perspectives on the world and are looking for ways to communicate those perspectives. Overflow Coffee Bar seeks to bring the citizens of the South Loop together to engage in thoughtful, committed action to change ourselves, our neighborhood, our city and our world through the following priorities. o serving organic and fair trade – Organic, Fair Trade coffee makes a real difference in the lives of the farmers who grow it, their families, their communities and our environment. Organic food also makes a real difference in farmers’ lives and for the environment. o inspiring volunteerism – We will help South Loopers get connected with local non-profits who are in need of volunteers. We will partner with local non-profits on joint ventures to serve our neighborhood. o promoting local artists – We will double as a community art center by showcasing local visual artists’ work, hosting poetry readings, producing theatrical productions and being a venue for musical performances.

The Catch? We cannot do it alone. Your help is needed to build a foundation for launching a sustainable nonprofit organization. You can play a role in changing the world by supporting us with your resources. Currently, we are working to raise $115,000 as part of our "Set Up Shop" Campaign. Donations* given to this campaign will help Overflow Coffee Bar to become established - to file paperwork with the IRS, to find and renovate a location, to purchase the equipment we need to make coffee, espresso and tea drinks.

Questions? Have ideas?

Contact Amanda at theneelyfamily@gmail.com, 773-919-6960. Also check out theneelyjourney.blogspot.com.

*Currently donations are not tax exempt. When Overflow Coffee Bar receives its tax exempt status from the IRS, all donations will become tax exempt. The status is retroactive. You can give a donation now and then it will become tax exempt later.


Overflow Coffee Connections, August 2009