Yes, on occasion I will drink coffee, especially if it is from my beloved Tassimo single cup coffee
But tea is my first love.
It is calming, yet invigorating.
It is hot and comforting.
As the English know, ever situation is better with a cup of tea.
I like black tea. And if possible, made from loose leaf, not bags.
I buy it online, one of life's small pleasures.
But what if your tea purchase could have a positive effect on the world?
What if it could make the lives of a few desperate young woman in a desperate situation better?
According to a report I saw on Fox News, later picked up by the Huffington Post, it is possible!
The woman trying to do that is named Katrell Christie, the owner of a small tea shop in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the founder of The Learning Tea, an organization that, through the sale of tea from India's Darjeeling region and Indian dinners held at her shop.
While it’s not uncommon for people to find a new perspective while traveling, Candler Park resident and Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party shop owner Katrell Christie found herself in India during Summer 2009 with a growing new purpose and a strong determination to help better the lives of the children she’d met while spending time at both a Darjeeling orphanage and a elementary school, one of the oldest schools in Darjeeling.
For these Darjeeling children living in poverty, education is simply the only method of rising beyond their situation, which in most cases is dire. Darjeeling is world famous for its beautiful tea gardens and flavorful teas, but it harbors a darker side as the region’s hub for forced labor and sex exploitation, as well as child trafficking and child labor. Without education, young girls are forced into prostitution in the area, or even transported to work in brothels in other regions of India when they leave orphanages at 16 or 17, with no viable alternatives in the area without a university education.
100% of the profits from The Learning Tea will fund several projects for these children.
Katrell committed herself in 2010 to fully fund the education of three orphan girls at a nearby Darjeeling university; for $800, each girl can receive one year of university education, room and board, food, and clothing; empowering them towards a much brighter future than the alternative available for the women that have left the orphanage before them. No girl from the orphanage has previously ever had the opportunity to attend higher education. It takes so little financially to make a huge difference in the life of these children. The Learning Tea is simply a catalyst for change, one cup at a time shaping their lives towards a much brighter future!
She started with those three girls, then went on to 11 young women as people in her shops gave donations and from used book sales. As you can read at their web site, they are expending as money allows, hope to open another site, providing food, clothing, a safe home, continuing education as well as computer classes, music lessons and other extracurricular activities for these desperate girls.
If I lived in Atlanta, I would certainly check out those book sales and frequent her tea shop, but since I don't, and most of you don't, what to do?
Well, if you check out the web site, you can see that Katrell is now also selling green and black Darjeeling, the “Champagne of Teas”, with 100% of the profits going toward the work with the girls. Check out the site. There is a great video, some great photos of the group of young interns helping out in Atlanta and some fantastic ones of volunteers in India.
I love those clever wrappers that will remind you exactly what your small purchase can do....One Cup at a Time!
This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.