Instigated by the CREDO…
Life is worth living. I refuse to merely exist. I pursue a life of meaning and purpose, fulfillment and joy. The world is not yet as it ought to be. Neither is my city. Neither am I. Yet, I reject apathy and despair. I engage the world, my city, and myself to make an impact for good. I am not alone. I press through narcissism, isolation and self-sufficiency striving to live in authentic community.
Downtown CREDO established its board and initial partnerships in the spring of 2010. These partnerships included five local charities already doing great work, and a network of coffee growers in Guatemala. In January of 2011 the donations only coffee shop was established in College Park. Since that time we have narrowed the focus of our local partnerships to the Parramore Corridor of Neighborhoods and have added a second direct-trade source for coffee.
Very quickly the challenging work of network cultivation was organized into three divisions: Coffee, Rally, Conduit. Each of these divisions create opportunities for folks to not only be introduced to a life animated by the CREDO, but to step into the growing web of people who’ve committed to it. The Rally division focuses on serving select partner charities to impact the city for good and cultivate community. Our current partners are the Downtown and Parramore Branches of Central Florida Boys and Girls Clubs, New Image Youth Center, Keeping Orlando Beautiful, and Green Up Orlando. Downtown Credo invites members of the city to join in events (both one-time and on-going) we plan and execute on behalf of our partners. We’ve built and maintained vegetable gardens, cleaned up streets, hosted dinner co-ops, refurbished playgrounds, tutored kids, networked resources, and built real relationships.
The Coffee division is inviting people into lives of global impact and community through direct-trade coffee. Downtown Credo’s donation’s only coffee shop is not another opportunity to be an autonomous consumer, separated from people and means of production. We are committed to challenging people to name their price. As they assign a value to their coffee, they become more conscious of where their money is going and are invited to consider the impact it makes.
Downtown CREDO’s coffee division has distributed over two thousand pounds of direct-trade coffee for donation. As the Downtown CREDO brand gains momentum and attention locally and nationally (Downtown CREDO has been featured in Orlando Magazine, Orlando Weekly and in the Orlando Sentinel. Founder Ben Hoyer has been interviewed on video for the Huffington Post and delivered a TEDx talk at the 2011 TEDx Orlando Event) the number of opportunities to introduce people to lives of meaning, impact and community through projects and partnerships is increasing.
The aggregate of all Downtown Credo’s efforts is a bourgeoning network of people in Orlando from all walks of life who are embracing their impact for good both locally and globally, doing their best to live with meaning, and developing into an authentic community. This community will improve not only the individuals involved but their city as well.