Monday, December 12, 2016

Helping refugees, one bean at a time

Today's crumb was recommended by an alert reader in Plymouth, Indiana. It takes us to the Atlanta suburb of Clarkston, Georgia -- a tiny, 1.64 square mile neighborhood which Time magazine calls "the most diverse square mile in America." Why? Because it's a United Nations refugee resettlement area. Each year, more than 2,000 refugees make Clarkston their home, 70,000 since 1980. Many travel over an hour to work in a chicken processing factory, but now there's another option.

Refuge Coffee Company hires only refugees. While learning skills, they receive a mentor and free education in everything from English language to body language. Instead of doing business FOR refugees, the coffee company does business WITH refugees. The coffee truck creates a multi-ethnic gathering place, where none existed before. And it's a powerful welcoming engine, connecting employees with the rest of Atlanta, and beyond. And the coffee is famously delicious.

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