A Javaroma campaign called Sip For a Cause was started on Feb. 13 to raise funds for people affected by the catastrophic earthquake that struck Turkiye and Syria.
As of Feb. 24, when the campaign came to an end, the proceeds totalled $4,000. Since then, all the funds have been poured into approximately 100 food packages for people in need.
During the fundraiser, 15 per cent of customers’ beverage purchases went toward the goal.
“When we told them (the people in Turkiye and Syria) this is from the customers of Javaroma in Yellowknife, they wanted to pay back with a simple sign that says, ‘Thank you, Javaroma customers.’ I didn’t expect that, and that achieved an attachment between them and us,” said Rami Kassem, owner of Javaroma.
Kassem felt what he organized was different than just sending money to any of the charitable foundations or associations.
He believes this gesture will help connect two different parts of the world.
“This means a lot to those people. Look at the smile of these kids,” he said, gesturing to a photo of children.
This isn’t the first time Javaroma has made a donation such as this. The business helped out after an earthquake in Haiti, although that time, the financial support went through the Red Cross. But that act of goodwill didn’t generate the same feeling compared to this time, said Kassem.
“This is not only for the business — every sip of the coffee that you bought, it’s for a good cause, and how proud you are when you do that,” said Kassem.
To make sure the funds reach the victims’ communities, Kassem relied on two families in town who are from both Turkiye and Syria. He said those two families lost 10 relatives to the tragedy.
Those families helped deliver the donation, as they knew better where people are most in need, said Kassem.
More than 50,000 people perished as a result of the Feb. 6 quake, according to Reuters.