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General News

Earth Day

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The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970–almost 50 years ago. I think we take it for granted today and we ignore the effects of our everyday decisions on this fragile planet. Life is a gift; we didn’t do anything to earn it or deserve it. With the gift comes responsibility–good stewardship of the life we’ve been given, the resources we have available, and the planet where we live.

Ugandan Gold Coffee takes that responsibility seriously and when you choose our coffee, you are partnering with us in that responsibility. We appreciate your partnership and, in honor of Earth Day, our regular roast coffee, ground and whole bean, is on sale now through April 25th. Click here to get your coffee now: Buy Online

Grateful for Winter

When I was growing up in Massachusetts, the winter was always cold and the ground snow-covered. March would eventually come, still snow-covered and cold, but there would be a day or two toward the end of March and the beginning of April where there was a hint of springtime in the air. My dad drove a small Fiat Biachina which had a sun roof and on these days, he would open that roof, find a puddle to drive through and sing at the top of his lungs, “Welcome sweet Springtime, we greet thee in song, Murmurs of gladness fall on the ear..” There was a sense of excitement on those days–was Spring finally here? Would the puddle be deep enough to get us wet? Would we have a sunny Easter or a snowy one? Would there be any flowers to enjoy? When would it finally be warm enough to go without a coat?

daffodil

It was still cold, of course, but the promise and the hope of warmer days to come was in the air.

Sunshine, cheery and warm, is more appreciated after the long, cold, gray days of winter.  The colder and longer the winter, the greater the gratefulness when spring finally arrives. Can I truly be grateful for something until I have lost it for awhile? So, this year, I am grateful for the winter we’ve had, and grateful for the renewal of springtime which brings flowers, baby lambs, the hope of Easter and the promise of new life for each of us.

lamb

 

 

 

DPC

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During our recent visit to Uganda, we spent one day at a Displaced Persons Camp, a DPC.   These people were part of a tribe which had been removed from land they had lived on which was due to be developed. As they didn’t own the land, they have been removed to a site nearby. The case has been in the courts for 3 years and is still undecided. And they wait patiently. We went to help The Open Door ministry group which visits once a month and treats the children for various problems like ringworm and jiggers. It was a sad and sobering day for most of us. The reality of our extremely comfortable homes here in the USA contrasted harshly with the living conditions of these people who are simply caught between a rock and a hard place. The ability to visit a doctor, hospital or clinic which is easily available to most of us is almost nonexistent there. There are millions of people around the world in DPCs–38 million in 2016 (http://www.internal-displacement.org/about-us/).

DPC6_cropped    woman at DPC

Before you go to sleep in your (probably) comfortable bed tonight, think of what you can do to make this world a little better for those less fortunate.

We conduct medical clinics at the Ugandan Gold Coffee farm for the workers and their families. Perhaps you can help us with the next one. Simply donate here: Donate

Every time you buy a bag of Ugandan Gold Coffee, you help the people who have a job on the coffee farm, enabling them to take care of their families in a way that would not be possible otherwise. Thank you!

 

Be mindful..

Just for today, since it’s World Water Day, take a little extra care on how you use this precious, life-giving resource.

Simple ways to conserve include turning off the water while you brush your teeth, wash your hands or wash your hair. Take short showers instead of a bath.

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Do not run the dishwasher unless it’s full and if you hand wash your dishes, do not keep the water running while you rinse.

When washing clothes, do only full loads and make sure to adjust the water level for the amount of clothes in the machine.

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Keep a container of water in the refrigerator for drinking instead of running the faucet until the water’s cold.

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Fix all leaky pipes and toilets–a “running” toilet can waste more than 100 gallons a day! (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/ws/wtrcnsv.html)

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Perhaps, after doing this for just one day, because it’s World Water Day, you will be encouraged to do it everyday. You can be an example to your family and friends on the simplicity of conserving this valuable resource which we so often take for granted.

World Water Day-March 22

At least 1.8 billion people on our planet are getting their water from contaminated sources. (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs391/en/)

waterhole, reduced

Almost 3.4 million people die each year from water-related diseases. (http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/takingcharge.html)

The average American uses 80- 100 gallons a day. 80 gallons would weigh about 667 pounds–can you imagine if you had to walk, pump and carry that much water each day? That chore would take 16-five gallon jerry cans to provide water for just one person. If you could carry two jerry cans at a time (84 pounds!), it would take 8 trips to the pump. If you had to walk a mile each way and stand in line to wait your turn, it could easily take you 45 minutes per trip which would consume 6 hours each and every day to provide the amount of water just one person in the United States uses.  (https://water.usgs.gov/edu/qa-home-percapita.html)

On March 22, do something about it. If you drink Ugandan Gold Coffee, you are partnering with us to do something about the water crisis. To get more involved, have a cup of Ugandan Gold Coffee and think, dream and plan about what you could do. Better yet, share some Ugandan Gold Coffee with your friends, families and neighbors and talk about what you could do as a group. Challenge each other to make a difference in this very real crisis for so many with whom we share this beautiful planet.

Murcheson Falls

 

 

Are You Thirsty?

When was the last time you were really thirsty? I don’t mean the feeling you have after a work-out or yard work in the sun. I mean the thirst you feel when it has been way too long since you had a gulp of cool, clean water, when your tongue feels like it’s swollen and stuck to your teeth, when all you can think of is the sweet sensation of crystal, cool water relieving your distress. Have you ever felt that way?

Millions of children feel that way every day–and the only relief they will get will be an unsatisfying, small cup of unclean water, carried for miles from the local watering hole which is used by both people and animals for their daily needs.

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On our last trip to Uganda, despite many bottles of water and careful efforts to stay hydrated, I felt that way. The hot, dry day, baking under the unmerciful equatorial sun, had depleted me. Trudging up a long steep hill, I desired nothing more than cool water, yet I was in a place where that resource we take for granted was just not available. I felt that awful thirst which only lasted a relatively short time before I was able to obtain the water I needed. Yet I won’t forget that feeling and it breaks my heart that millions of children rarely get relief from their thirst. I hope it breaks your heart as well–so much so that you do something about it. Partner with us to provide that necessary water to children and their families in Uganda.  Click on this link to donate now: http://www.ugandangold.com/

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Thank you!

We asked Worth Helms, one of the founding members of Ugandan Gold Coffee, to write about his involvement in Ugandan Gold Coffee and his takeaways from the journey of founding to retiring. Here is his story:

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“I’ve been involved with the coffee farm of Ugandan Gold since its planting in 2000. By 2002 we had 37.5 acres planted, but in May 2002, the board of directors was distraught because we did not have money to buy mulch in preparation for the dry season to retain moisture for the young trees. We prayed for money but none came.  We were beating ourselves up pretty badly, until one day we received a call from our farm manager that a miracle had taken place. ‘What’s the miracle?’, we asked.

‘Well, in Uganda, as in most third world countries, they burn land off before plowing. It’s a quick way to clear the land, and tilling the burned residue underground enriches it with carbon.’ He continued, ‘A farmer two miles from the coffee farm needed to plow 2 acres, so he started a fire to burn it off before plowing. A fifty mile an hour wind sprang up and blew the fire all the way to the coffee farm. But because there was no mulch for the fire to feed on, we did not lose one of our 15,000 coffee trees.’ 

We were stunned and joyful at the same time. This was one of the biggest lessons of my life. When you don’t get what you want, even if you pray for it , maybe it’s a blessing. Just keep doing the best you can.”

 The team members of Ugandan Gold Coffee have many miraculous stories like Worth’s. If you have some of your own, please tell us about them in the comment sections!

 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

 Worth has written his own book you can check out here

With the Holidays coming up,  finding gifts for everyone on the nice list can be difficult. Instead of giving your coworker Secret Santa a general coffee brand, give them a bag of Ugandan Gold Coffee. Here are three reasons why to choose social impact over anything else:

  1. 1 in 5

As we say on our mission page, “In Uganda today, one out of every five children will die 6f0c5421before their fifth birthday. Clean water, our most precious global resource, is available to less than 1% of Ugandans, and remains the primary obstacle to a healthy, productive, hope-filled life.” Every time you purchase a bag of Ugandan Gold Coffee, a portion of the proceeds go to a well-digging initiative to provide clean water to all the people of Uganda. We wrote about the importance of clean water for child development in a previous post and we are emphasizing it again – access to clean water can be life changing to a child living in a Ugandan village. A great cup of coffee changes mornings, your cup of coffee can save lives.

  1. It tastes goodbeans3

Our natural processing of the coffee beans keeps all the flavors within each bean so the cup you brew is going to the best it can be. We take extra care when picking the beans (one by one pulling them off the branch) and we sun dry the crop – turning the beans from a healthy red, to a deep brown. If you like your coffee black or almost light tan, it will be the absolute best (for an affordable price!).

  1. Social impactbeans4

This is the biggest part of our business plan. We aim for the coffee farm in Uganda to be self-sustaining, encouraging the employees to learn to stand on their own and become working members of society. Also, our well-digging initiative brings life to communities. Around each well, school desks are filled with excited kids, Bibles are cracked open in church pews, and business are filled with paying customers. The coffee is only the first part of the whole equation.

Do we have you convinced?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Christmas is a little over 2 weeks away and we have the perfect last-minute gift ideas for everyone on your nice list. Bonus: these gifts come with an amazing social impact for the people of Uganda. Double Bonus: Shipping discounts on qualified purchases. Read on!

Gingersnap Coffee, $8.99

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A subtle flavoring of the popular gingersnap cookie combined with robust ground coffee.

Free shipping if you buy 4 or more!

Regular Roast Single Serve K-cups, $11.95

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24 single serve cups containing Ugandan Gold Regular Roast Coffee. Will work with most Keurig-brand coffee makers.

Free shipping if you buy 4 or more!

Classic Gift Box, $32.00

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The Classic Gift Box includes 2 bags Regular Caffeinated Coffee, 1 bag of Regular Decaf, and 1 bag Caramel Pecan-flavored coffee.

Free shipping if you buy 2 or more! 

Coffee To Go Travel Pack, $24.95Coffee to Go

12 oz of our premium coffee, along with a porcelain travel mug and a bag of vanilla biscotti with dark chocolate drizzle!  Available in multiple combinations.

Free shipping if you buy 3 or more! 

Passport Coffee Club, $75.00

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1 bag Regular and 1 bag flavored coffee delivered in December, February, and April (A total of 6 bags). Gift card included if you wish. Please email us separately with names and addresses for the Gift card.

Free Shipping!

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Ugandan Gold Farm Workers

Ugandan Gold Farm Workers with harvested beans. Photo by David Weisbrod (http://www.weisbrodimaging.com)

This past Saturday, Ugandan Gold employee Jill Whitecap gave a presentation on Ugandan Gold’s operations and philosophies at First Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh.  Apparently someone was listening, and Ugandan Gold was mentioned by Ruth Anne Dailey in an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about how giving is so important, but giving in the wrong way can be disastrous.

At Ugandan Gold Coffee, giving the people of Uganda a better standard of living has always been our focus. The need for clean water in Africa is one of the most pressing issues today. Just giving people clean water isn’t enough. We have always sought to partner with the Ugandan people so that together we can create solutions with them– creating jobs, providing training, enabling a better standard of living. This is why we sell our coffee – not only do the profits provide the ability to drill water wells, it also pays for the workers at our coffee farm, the operation of a model food farm and the workers who are drilling the wells.

It allows us to give people clean water, and to be a catalyst for changing the standard of living for so many in the region. It might be a lot easier to raise support and  purchase coffee to sell or to send teams of westerners  to drill wells.

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The Ugandan Gold drilling team in the field. Photo by David Weisbrod (http://www.weisbrodimaging.com)

It might even be cheaper. But it wouldn’t be right, and it wouldn’t truly help the Ugandan people in the end. Instead, we’re training Ugandans to drill wells.  In fact, some of our well drillers have even left our staff to start their own businesses in Uganda, and we couldn’t be happier! Ugandan Gold truly is a gift that keeps on giving.

So, we thank you for all of your support. We thank you for purchasing coffee which allows us to not only give Ugandans clean water, but to train them and equip them to change their own country. Your support allows the people of Uganda to stand on their own two feet, and to give back to their communities. It also, we hope, helps them feel their worth – both with God, in their communities, and to the world.

Thank you again, and while you’re here, click on the link below and read the article by Ruth Ann Dailey in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  It’s an excellent article on the dangers of giving incorrectly, and how charities like Ugandan Gold are doing the right thing by empowering the people with whom they work:

 

Ruth Ann Dailey: "To Give is Divine, but 'Toxic Charity’ Lurks"
Ruth Ann Dailey: “To Give is Divine, but ‘Toxic Charity’ Lurks”