I support organizations that do meaningful work toward reconciliation and developing human capital. Today’s post is brought to you by Rakkasan Tea’s Nine Dragons Oolong, served in Sibongile Pottery’s guinea cup, and Dave’s Killer Bagels.
I have written a lot about Rakkasan in the past–a small business in Dallas, Texas founded by veterans Brandon Friedman and Terrence Kamauf.
Rakkasan Tea Company imports solely from carefully selected estates in post-conflict countries as a way to promote peace and economic growth.Rakkasan Tea Company Our Story, rakkasantea.com
They import premium loose leaf teas from Nepal, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Laos, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Myanmar, supporting women-owned businesses in many instances. One of my favorites was the rare Black Ruby from “likely the only woman-owned tea estate in Nepal.” As Rakkasan puts it:
Buying our tea helps us help them, and we appreciate every purchase you make.
Sibongile Pottery operates in Gugulethu, a township just outside of Cape Town. I met the women of Sibongile in 2002 while on sabbatical. Since then, I have visited and purchased their work on every trip, including my thus far at least last trip in 2011. Much of the income for organizations such as Sibongile came from the tourist industry which has been severely impacted by the pandemic. Gugulethu is one of the top hotspots for Covid 19 transmission in South Africa. Understandable, given the intense crowding and poverty:
I am a recent convert to Dave’s ‘Killer’ Bagels. I will admit, I was put off by the term killer, but we often use it to describe something awesome. Then I noticed the information on the package about Dave’s being a Second Chance Employment company.
At Dave’s Killer Bread, we believe in Second Chance Employment: hiring the best person for the job, regardless of criminal history. We have witnessed its transformative power, and that giving someone who is ready to change their lives a chance – a Second Chance – gives people an opportunity not only to make a living, but to make a life.daveskillerbread.com, Second Chance Employment
They don’t just talk about it, they put their money where their mouth is: Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation, with a commitment to the intentional practice of employing people who have a criminal background. They support businesses who adopt Second Chance Employment through assessment and planning and coaching, and the Second Chance Business Coalition, all in the interest of reducing recidivism and the negative impact of former incarceration.
My Christmas wish for the world who tries to outshout each other: Be kind to living things. Give a hand where it is needed. Listen more than talk.