For the 4th year in a row, Calgary’s Monogram Coffee and jazz singer-songwriter Ellen Doty have come together during the holiday season to raise money and awareness for local charities. Each year, Doty writes a song with another Alberta artist (the 2020 guest being the talented Wyatt C. Louis), and Monogram roasts a coffee named after the song. They then donate $5 from each bag sold to their charity of choice, and each bag also comes with a free download of the song.
The campaign has continued to gain momentum each year, and for the second year in a row, the pair have also been joined by famed ice cream shop Made by Marcus, who also creates a custom ice cream made with the coffee, with $2 from every pint sold also going to the selected charity. While the campaign originally began in Calgary, it has now been expanded to include Edmonton, and in December of 2020, the group was thrilled to have ATB pledge their support to match all funds raised.
“When we were approached to participate by Jeremy from Monogram, we knew this was a great opportunity to partner with one of our clients and support their community giveback efforts," says Jesse Yuen, Director, Brand Squad at ATB. "Even with the immense challenges that businesses face in 2020, so many of them stayed true to their core values to give back and support their communities. It was a no-brainer for ATB to rally behind this idea and match the dollars raised for The Mustard Seed.”
Despite the many challenges of the past year, the campaign was the most successful one yet, raising nearly $30,000 to support The Mustard Seed, an organization working to eliminate homelessness and reduce poverty in Western Canada.
The funds raised will go to support The Mustard Seed’s Community Hubs program, which includes wellness advocates that work to ensure individuals receive appropriate mental health support and other wellness resources based on their needs.
“The community came together to support this wonderful cause and the funds raised will make a great impact on our Community Hubs program. Our hubs facilitate a greater sense of community and well-being in areas around the city that need help and have a history of poverty. As the pandemic progresses, it’s vital to keep supporting those who continue to struggle throughout this time, and we are thankful for great initiatives such as this, so we can remain a source of support for those experiencing homelessness and poverty.” says Steve Wile, CEO of The Mustard Seed
Last year in Calgary alone, The Community Hubs program distributed over 620 backpacks filled with school supplies to children in need and provided over 3200 advocacy services to families and individuals. These hubs act as a welcoming community space and offer a variety of services from a free cup of coffee, to employment support, workshops, language programs, summer camps, after-school programming, and much more.
For many across Alberta, the wellness advocates that work out of the various community hubs and shelters provide essential support to access the services that individuals and families need. This could mean help with getting identification, accessing a doctor or treatment centre, accessing counselling services, or even assistance with necessary paperwork.
“I can’t tell you how much of a difference this made in my life. I find myself more open to life and people. Getting help and a place gives me a positive outlook on life. Thanks to the Mustard Seed. “ says a participant of the Community Support/Wellness Advocates Program.
Bringing the community together is part of what makes this annual campaign so impactful.
“At Monogram we are all about positively impacting people’s lives with coffee. Great coffee has the incredible ability to bring people together, whether it’s within the cafe, or helping support the people that need it in our communities. To be able to collaborate with Ellen, Marcus and ATB has allowed us all to make a bigger impact, which is so wonderful.” notes Monogram Coffee Co-Founder Jeremy Ho.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the 5th annual Monogram Coffee x Ellen Doty HolidayGiveback Campaign, which will be set to launch in December of 2021.