First and Last Name: Erica Raggett
In December of 2010 I heard about the brutal realities of human trafficking. In my happy worldview, the idea that human beings could be bought and sold like cheap commodities was not even within the realm of my darkest imaginings. I was horrified and outraged that such devaluation of people could exist. I knew I couldn’t walk away unchanged. I have always had a love of coffee shops and have always secretly wanted to open one. Fighting any social wrong requires figuring out a way to use your skills and passions to make a difference in the world.
A 2ND CUP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit coffee shop that will work to fight human trafficking. We desire to do that in three ways: EDUCATE: We provide an avenue for awareness of the issue of human trafficking in Houston and work towards the abolition of slavery in our city. PARTNER: We will work alongside a variety of anti-trafficking organizations and movements to raise awareness, generate interest, and engage the public to take action in anti-trafficking initiatives. FUND: We will be a money-making engine to fund after-care solutions for survivors of human trafficking including housing, mentoring, tutoring, job-skills and other life skills for reintegration into society.
Our business and our impact are fully integrated. Our impact is walking alongside women who have been trafficked and providing resources to allow them to recover from their trauma. The business provides the revenue and the facility to be able to provide these resources. These resources would include counseling, mentoring, GED training, resume writing, job skills, financial counseling, and technology training. As the business grows, we can expand those resources to include things like medical care, child care, and safe housing options.
A 2ND CUP will be sustainable by being a combination of business and charity. Our charitable efforts of providing much-needed after care for survivors of human trafficking will be funded by the coffee shop itself. The coffee shop will also provide us with a facility and connect us to the community in a way that will enable us to leverage support. Efforts that we put into raising awareness will also work to increase the profits of the business, which will then be poured back into enabling survivors to grow, heal and recover and become who they were intended to be prior to their captivity.
IMPACT: -Number of survivors who are in college or jobs outside of A 2ND CUP -Number of people who attend trafficking awareness events -Number of organizations we are able to partner with -Trafficking statistics in Houston decrease (as reported by the Polaris Project) as we partner with other anti-trafficking organizations BUSINESS: -Becoming a self-sufficient organization by year 3 -Being named Houston's best coffee shop
A 2ND CUP is incredibly close to being able to build a permanent coffee shop where we can begin providing services to survivors of human trafficking. This $50,000 would launch us forward to be able to provide more services in a more timely manner. We would be able to ensure that survivors of human trafficking receive essential tools that will enable them to rebuild their lives.
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Tuesday, July 02