Raleigh, North Carolina coffee roaster Larry’s Beans and the North Carolina United Methodist Church have teamed up to send needy children to camp by providing churches, parishioners, and camps with great tasting Fair Trade Organic coffee. Under this program, the conference’s three camps and participating United Methodist churches will be serving Larry’s Beans coffee. Ten percent of all church coffee purchases will go to send deserving kids to camp.

The Methodist church camps promote children’s leadership and confidence building. Funds from the coffee program allow kids who otherwise couldn’t go to camp to participate. In addition, this program aims to increase awareness of social justice issues.

“This is a win-win program for churches, kids, and for Larry’s Beans,” says Larry Larson, founder and CEO of Larry’s Beans. “Larry’s Beans coffee is 100 percent Fair Trade and is a mission-driven company whose commitment to Fair Trade and sustainability is a natural fit for church groups.”

Eventually, Larry’s Beans envisions the program going national, and perhaps global.

To promote this partnership, Larry’s Beans has set up a faith-based Web link on its Web site to help support the program. Customers who order coffee through that link will have their purchase tracked to support the program.

“We were impressed with the philosophy and mission of Larry’s Beans, and that made the decision to pursue this program extremely easy,” says Bobby Harris, executive director of the North Carolina United Methodist Camp & Retreat Missions. “This is a chance to assist the church in understanding social justice issues and bring it about everyday with a product everyone enjoys.”

Larry’s Beans coffee will be served in Chestnut Ridge, Don Lee, and Rockfish. Harris sees a day when the program could lead to an exchange of youth campers and counselors between North Carolina and the coffee-growing regions around the world.

“People feel good when their purchases support their values,” Larson says. “That’s how social change happens.”

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