Overflow and You Team Up to Help Girls in Guatemala Go To School

It may seem counter intuitive that my last post was about "Money Discouragement" and in this post you'll learn about how we're giving money away but I live by the premise that our best things are meant to be given away (ex: if you want to feel loved, love someone else).  So here's what we're doing:

For every pound of coffee ordered through our website from now until April 30th, Overflow will give $2 to Seeds of Help Foundation. Currently, Seeds of Help Foundation needs donations to help Guatemalan girls go through 7th, 8th and 9th grades. These girls’ parents can no longer afford to send them to school. Your support will keep them in school and learning skills to support themselves and their families. Two girls are planning to be teachers. These girls are in the same area of Guatemala that Overflow’s Guatemalan coffee comes from! Go to http://www.overflowcoffeebar.org/shop.html to place your order.

According to Seeds of Help, Guatemalan children generally get school provided for them for the first 6 years by the government. If the child wants to continue, the family must pay for a middle school (like our junior/high school). Then past those three years, if the child wants to get a degree in a trade like shoe making, mechanical work, construction, nursing, teaching, they go for another 3 years (like our college/trade schools here) which again the family must pay for.

Most families in the rural area of Huehuetenango, Guatemala have 6+ children so they can hardly afford to feed their families much less pay to send their children to school. Women in Guatemala have an exceptionally hard time continuing their education as they are perceived as the care takers and often marry young and have to care for their families.

For more information about Seeds of Help Foundation, visit http://www.seedsofhelp.org/.

Money Discouragement

They say starting something new has its ups and downs.  This week has definitely been a down...  Starting a business would be SO much easier if we had some money.  I read just yesterday that making the first $1 is harder than getting from $1 to $1,000,000 but this was said by a "normal business person".  It seems impossible to do an "other-than-normal business"... Today, I feel like giving up.

Okay, enough venting.  Time to suck it up and deal.  Please don't comment with pretty niceties.  Instead, cheer me up by purchasing some coffee or giving on ChipIn! to the right on your screen.

Changing the world one DOLLAR at a time...

Breaking News... Location, Location, Location

This past Saturday we announced some very exciting news at the Going Green with Overflow event.  In case you missed the event, here's the news:

Last week, a potential location approached Overflow asking us if we would consider using their space to set up our coffee house.  Many of the details cannot be released because the location is also in negotiations with potential neighboring organizations.  What I can tell you is this:

(a) I am taking Overflow's board and Set Up Shop committee members to see the location on April 3rd and weigh in with their thoughts and ideas. 

(b) This location is asking us to be ready for business by September, 2010.  Our plan has been to open by August, 2011 so this would be mean...

(c) If we want this location, we need to have the money to Set Up Shop a lot more quickly than anticipated. 

If you'd like to see Overflow Coffee Bar open by September, 2010, please click "ChipIn!" to the right on this page or visit http://www.overflowcoffeebar.org/ and buy something from our shop.  Help us be ready to take advantage of this space!  We'd love your support!

We'll keep you posted of developments as they occur... Keep checking back!

The Perfect Option

On Friday March 3, two people (independently) sent us this link: http://www.entrepreneur.com/startingabusiness/startupbasics/businessstructure/article205338.html. This article is all about a new option for those starting a business called L3C.  They call it "the for-profit with a nonprofit soul." There are only about 100 in the nation and 10 in Illinois, as it was just enacted into Illinois law in January, 2010. 

From the research I've done, the L3C option looks like the perfect option for Overflow. I'm going to be trying to make some connections with people who are experienced with L3C businesses and drafting out what Overflow would look like under this structure. 

If you're into this sort of thing, I recommend wikipedia's article.  I'd also love to talk with you more.  Drop me a line.
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