Total loan: $15,000
Rochester, NY, United States / Food
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Joy's loan finished fundraising,
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A loan helped us survive this crisis and thrive as a business run by women in recovery.
I was born into a family in rural Minnesota that believed it was our responsibility to save the world. I had some sense of that at age 5, and when reading about Harriet Tubman in third grade, recognized my call was to help lead people to freedom. At that point I started to study trauma to understand why people did what they did—on both sides of the equation and never stopped. I was 5 when I started collecting traumatized animals, and then between 6th and 7th grade, began accompanying mostly children on their healing journey. Through many decades, that has been my focus as a clergy person, mother (adopted/collected 7 children, 6 with significant PTSD), founder of Project Empower (combined with the Coffee Connection in 2011), and as executive director of the Coffee Connection. At the Coffee Connection we combine program and business for women in recovery from addiction, trauma and incarceration in our coffee roasting business with a coffee shop and a café. I love to see people heal, to recognize their inherent worth, to overcome barriers that have held them captive. Whether supporting someone new to recovery, someone with a relapse, or someone learning critical thinking, communication, or conflict transformation in the context of learning employment skills, this is the gas in my tank. I especially enjoy interviewing new interns/employees who are ashamed of their past, realize that their past—including incarceration—qualify them to be a part of the Coffee Connection team.