Here in the Episcopal Relief & Development Marketing and Communications Department, we try to work a season ahead. Over the summer, we were working on resources for churches to use in the fall when Sunday School and youth programs start up again. Now that it’s fall, we’re starting to think about Lent. When it’s Lent, we’ll be working to get things finished and ready for the 2012 General Convention next July!
So even though it’s not even Halloween yet, we’re well into thinking about Christmas. One of the things I’ve had the pleasure of working on is putting together the Bishops Blend Christmas Boxes offered through our partner, Pura Vida. Like in previous years, we’re offering gift boxes of coffee and chocolate (the Red Box), tea and chocolate (the Blue Box), and three kinds of coffee (the Silver Box). But this year, we’ve added a brand new, premium box (the Gold Box) that includes coffee, tea, chocolate and two ceramic mugs!
Also new this year are the chocolate selections. Pura Vida is working with small farmers in Guatemala to produce their own brand of triple-Single Origin chocolate – meaning that the cacao, sugar and vanilla used to produce the chocolate comes from Guatemalan farming cooperatives. The chocolate is made in Guatemala, and the profits benefit the community. All 300 of the chocolate factory’s employees have health coverage, and the manufacturer donates 10% of sales to a local charity.
Being able to offer our supporters delicious treats for the folks on their Christmas lists, while promoting sustainable development in Guatemala and other producer countries, is the whole reason behind Bishops Blend. Fair Trade products support micro enterprise development and help create lasting solutions to poverty. Organic products protect the environment. And did I mention they’re delicious?
So swing on by our website (www.er-d.org/BishopsBlend) and check out the Christmas Boxes – you’ll be getting a jump start on your holiday shopping, and your purchase will help strengthen communities worldwide.
Faith Rowold is the Communications Officer at Episcopal Relief & Development. She is an avid tea drinker and loves chocolate.