StreetSmart Australia shares highlights from CafeSmart 2022


StreetSmart Australia shares achievements and highlights from CafeSmart 2022 and discusses why charity initiatives are so important.

On the main fundraising day of the annual CafeSmart charity event on 5 August, Cynthia Mac Caddon, Partnerships Manager of StreetSmart Australia, says she was overwhelmed with the support shown by the coffee community.

“It’s amazing how coffee can make this happen. If it wasn’t for the cafés that participated in CafeSmart, we wouldn’t be able to support our many community partners. These cafés are the ones who are raising awareness of homelessness and supporting charities in a local way,” Cynthia says.

Organised by StreetSmart, CafeSmart 2022 returned for its 12th year running from 1 to 7 August. The event focuses on raising funds for local homelessness organisations across Australia, with participating cafés putting up signs and posters with QR codes, encouraging café customers to donate the cost of a coffee.

The week-long event encourages participating café staff to don yellow outfits and celebrate community spirit with their customers. On Friday 5 August, more than 660 cafés donated $1 per coffee sold, with StreetSmart distributing funds to local charities that provide vital homeless services in their local area.

“These funds support grassroots charities that provide vital services like temporary accommodation, meals, personal hygiene products, and more for those at risk or experiencing homelessness,” says Cynthia.

“This also includes access to mental health programs, supplying smart clothes for job interviews, or a hearty nutritious meal for vulnerable people.”

This year, Cynthia says one stand-out partner was Five Senses Coffee, which turned its Barista Academies into pop-up cafés to raise donations. On 5 August at its Stanmore, New South Wales venue, students from local social enterprise Darcy St. Project offered customers a special Tanzania limited release coffee. Darcy St. Project helps break the cycle of homelessness, unemployment, and social exclusion by using education, coffee, and food culture as a vehicle for social impact.

“Apart from helping us recruit [cafés to join CafeSmart], Five Senses turned their Barista Academies into pop-up cafés for the first time ever. As loyal supporters of CafeSmart, Five Senses have been roasting specialty coffee for 22 years and were one of the first supporters of CafeSmart, going on 12 years ago. This year, they stepped things up a notch, activating pop-up style cafés around the country to pour a super special, yet-to-be-released drop, the Acacia Hills Gesha, all while raising vital funds,” she says.

Cynthia says another great example of a participating café was Told You So café in North Lakes, Queensland, which used a fundraising thermometer to track its café’s donations.

“This family run café in the North Lakes does amazing every year. Their fundraising efforts to reach a goal and engage with their community is incredible. They set themselves a $1000 goal and they raised $1235,” Cynthia says.

“We are so grateful to all our roaster partners and every one of the 669 cafés that made CafeSmart 2022 possible. CafeSmart is a celebration of the coffee industry that gives back to their local communities, and we love to see the teams getting behind our campaign.”

Each year during CafeSmart, the event recognises top industry campaigners and participants that significantly contribute to funds raised with dedicated awards and prizes.

Single O, a New South Wales coffee roastery, won CafeSmart’s Top Roaster award, singlehandedly connecting 81 cafés in its network to the campaign. According to Cynthia, Single O was one of the first coffee roasters to get involved in CafeSmart and always looks for new ways to increase their support. This year, Single O donated $5 from every coffee bag sold, and its Botany, Carriageworks, and Surry Hills cafés donated $1 per coffee sold too.

Supporters also helped raise awareness through social media. By taking a photo using the CafeSmart logo as inspiration and hash tagging #CafeSmart, supporters were entered into a photo competition.

The major photo competition winner, receiving a $500 La Marzocco merchandise pack was The Hatter and The Hare in Victoria. Runner-up winners included Laneway Coffee in Northern Territory, POD café in Victoria, Three Blue Ducks in New South Wales, and Kwikk Coffee Banskia in Western Australia. Each received a $500 Brewtech voucher.

“A huge thanks to all the cafés that snapped some amazing photos to share the essence of CafeSmart,” says Cynthia.

Thanks to their efforts, The Bodhi Tree in Western Australia won the National Top Fundraiser award, and Brunetti Classico in Victoria won Best New Café.

“Every café who gets involved has an impact on their community, and in some cases, cafés go beyond the call of duty, so hats off to our National Top Fundraiser Café The Bodhi Tree for raising a whopping $1850 with their coffee sales, and also to our Best New Cafe, Brunetti Classico, for championing the event and raising more than $1500 on their first year of participation,” Cynthia says.

Cynthia says Brunetti Classico’s participation was thanks to CafeSmart’s roaster partners Griffiths Bros, who encouraged them to take part.

“Coffee is synonymous with community, and we’re excited to be joining CafeSmart in the fight against homelessness in our hood,” says Peter Patisteas, Managing Director at Griffiths Bros.

Cynthia adds a further special mention to Locale Roasters for fundraising the most through its Eco Warrior Community Initiative Fund, and to Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters, for designing its own CafeSmart branded t-shirts.

Last year’s CafeSmart participating cafés helped support 96 homeless projects across all states and territories.

Bridge It, a charity in St Kilda, Victoria, providing housing solutions for women aged 25 or over, was one of the seed funding projects that CafeSmart 2021 supported. Participating cafés in the area helped raise funds for two of its new residential programs, buying much needed items for women’s rooms.

“Chameleon Regional Community Housing in Redcliffe, Queensland, is another great example on how CafeSmart small community grants can make a huge difference. The young people they support arrived with very few possessions, and CafeSmart funds allowed them to purchase much needed items such as clothing,” says Cynthia.

In 2021, CafeSmart raised $169,000, which was split across 96 community grants. While the total number of raised funds for 2022 are still being finalised, Cynthia says the event has currently raised more than $120,000, with more donations still coming in.

“Considering how challenging this year has been, we can’t wait to start distributing these much-needed funds to our community partners across Australia,” she says.

“The rewarding part is participants can go back to their local cafés and hear where their donations have gone and know they’ve supported their local community.”

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This article appears in the October 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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