Even on those rainy days, a local collaboration is giving people the chance to add some sunshine to their morning coffee tradition while supporting foster care and adoption.
As part of a fundraising campaign, Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, Inc., a full-spectrum foster care and adoption nonprofit, teamed up with the Green Bean, a longtime downtown Greensboro coffee shop, to develop a new coffee roast named “Sunshine.”
The coffee campaign was strategically launched at the beginning of May because it is Foster Care Awareness Month, according to Stephany McMillan, the corporate philanthropy specialist for the Children’s Home Society’s Greensboro office.
According to McMillan, the organization is “really about family preservation.”
Over its nearly 120-year history, the Children’s Home Society has placed more than 16,000 children with permanent families.
In addition to adoption and foster care services, the nonprofit offers programs to help families by educating parents, empowering youth, caregiver support, and family preservation.
The Children’s Home Society was excited to team up with the Green Bean. Similar to the goals of the nonprofit, McMillan said, “we love that the Green Bean is all about the community.”
According to McMillan, the Children’s Home Society is always looking for unique connections with community organizations, businesses, and individuals that believe in their mission. Prior to this formal collaboration, McMillan said many staff members of Children’s Home Society would frequent the Green Bean, which opened in 2002, and already had a connection with the shop.
“Serving and educating guests on the art and craft of impeccable coffee is only a small part of what we do. What we really do is build community!” said current Green Bean owner Amy Foresman in a press release on the new coffee.
“We use coffee and hospitality as tools to create space for people that invites people in,” Foresman said. “Space for people to collaborate, converse and make authentic connections that are enjoyable and expand our community and understanding of the world around us. Community is the family you choose. This is our community.”
The coffee was named in honor of Sunshine, who was the first infant taken into care by the Children’s Home Society in 1906. The infant was named Sunshine because of the warmth and charm her smile brought to others.
The coffee offers the characteristics of Sunshine, using Columbian and Brazilian beans for a medium-dark roast and a sunrise coffee blend that delivers a balance of sweetness, with hints of apricot, toasted pecan, and milk chocolate.
“Hopefully, this blend energizes people,” McMillan said not only about the coffee itself but about helping children achieve access to their dream of foster care and adoption.
According to McMillan, she would meet weekly with the owner of the Green Bean during the campaign’s early stage. They were thinking about the name of the coffee and a bag design that blended the nonprofit and small business goals. McMillan said they wanted to bring in a local artist and settled on Gina Franco because her work “resonated” with them.
“I knew little about CHS prior to this project, and once I learned more about them, I knew I wanted to do what I could to help spread their message and bring more attention to the work they do,” Franco said. “Being able to create art and make a difference is always a win-win for me. I also love Amy and the Green Bean!”
Franco is a North Carolina-based muralist, with work featured across the state, especially in businesses and organizations in Greensboro and on the Beltline in Atlanta. She has completed some collaborative projects beforehand, including her recent work with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to create artwork for their digital certificates.
“After she agreed, we were over the moon,” McMillan.
The art on the coffee bag includes colorful drawings in pastel pinks, yellows, blues, and purples of smiling suns, hearts, flowers, a coffee cup, a young girl, a rainbow, and a child’s hand.
“I feel like the whole group was inspired by the story of Sunshine, so I knew early on the name of the coffee. I wanted to capture her spirit as well as reflect the values of CHS,” Franco said.
The Green Bean is donating five percent of the proceeds to the Children’s Home Society. According to McMillan, the money will holistically fund the nonprofit by going toward whichever program is in need.
The coffee bags are available for purchase at the Green Bean coffee shop or online at www.chsnc.org/sunshine. A bag of coffee is $15.50. The coffee is only sold in bags and not for one-time to-go orders at the shop.
The Sunshine bags of coffee will be available through the summer.