Anyone who knows me will often hear me saying, “I want to change the world”. I’m passionate about it, and I measure all my endeavors against that ideal. Recently, in a conversation with a dear friend, I learned that for some, this phrase is too big; too idealist. It can make people uncomfortable. I certainly want to be aware of the impact of my words on others, but something happened this weekend that encouraged me in my mission.

What happened? The 3rd annual Caravan Coffee Barista Showdown happened! A community of sponsors, roasters, baristas, and supporters came together in our roasting facility to benefit the Newberg Area Habitat for Humanity. We laughed, clapped, tasted, and celebrated together over live music, great food, and of course delicious coffee. The goal of the event was to build lasting relationships in the local coffee community, better our craft, have fun, and give back.  We had a fantastic turnout and raised quite a bit of money for Habitat for Humanity.

Here’s the mission of Habitat for Humanity: “we are dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. Our ministry was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, decent place to live in dignity and safety.”  In other words, Habitat for Humanity is making a real difference in the lives of many who live in our local communities.

One sponsor who happened to play a vital role in the Barista Showdown was the friend I mentioned earlier. He may not have liked the phrase, but he joined us in changing the world. No, the 2015 Barista Showdown didn’t end world hunger or eradicate slave labor in a foreign country. However, we validated baristas who are passionate about their craft, and by contributing substantially to Habitat for Humanity, we impacted families on a visceral level: safe housing. Maybe we didn’t shift world politics, but we really did change their world.

– Marcus Karaffa

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