One out of every eighty eight children born today may have Autism. Autism has become the fastest-growing, serious developmental disability in the U.S.
Why, you may ask, am I throwing these facts your way? Well, April is Autism awareness month and serves as an important reminder to recognize this is a serious issue that affects a great number of families in our communities. As many of you know, Boca Java’s mission is to support non-profit organizations that create awareness for issues such as this – with what we call “Coffees for a Cause”. What can we say – supporting great causes makes work a little less like “work” and there’s really nothing better than putting smiles on faces!
That’s why we partnered with SFA (Surfer’s for Autism) a few years ago. SFA has been on a mission to bring autism awareness to the world while, at the same time, enriching the lives of young people and families who have been affected. Their mission is “to unlock the potential of people with developmental delays, support advocacy for autism issues and scientific research.” They are committed to “eliminate stigma through public awareness and education and to unite communities through volunteerism”. Read more here.
I have had the pleasure of getting to know SFA founders, Don and Kim, who are definitely the real deal. Their passion is contagious – which, by no surprise, makes it very easy to get behind this cause to which they have dedicated their lives.
It seems like just yesterday I went to my first Surfers for Autism event. We were up very early in the morning, blurry eyed, but excited about the day’s events. Not really knowing what to expect, we just started brewing coffee and got our tent set up for what we assumed would be thousands of people at the beach needing a great cup of joe. If you’re wondering…yes, we brewed Iced Coffee to fit perfectly with the warm and sunny beach day. It was a great event and such a great experience. The best part was getting out in the water with all the young children affected by autism and helping them create great memories while catching some waves. Sometimes I wondered who was having more fun, the volunteers or the little ones standing on surf boards.
Over the years I have met some great kids and parents, like “big wave” Spencer (featured on one of our SFA Coffee bags). The innocence that resonates from these kids is unlike anything I have ever experienced. I have seen firsthand how lives are changed and how the smile on these kids’ faces provokes emotions that last forever. Even the parents of these children benefit as they make lifelong friends each event – taking comfort in the realization they’re not the only families affected by Autism and they don’t have to face it alone.
My experience made me even more excited about how easy it is for our Boca Java customers to get involved in supporting this amazing cause. Whether or not you can make it to an event, donate money or time, you can make a difference by simply buying a bag of SFA coffee that supports the cause. Our Coffee for a Cause – SFA Coffee program donates $1 from every bag purchased directly to the SFA organization to directly benefit those affected by Autism. We invite you to help us continue to support them by enjoying our coffees inspired by the spirit of hope, help and happiness that this remarkable organization provides.