I’ve always liked coffee, the smell, the sound of the drip, the warmth and comfort from that first morning sip – it’s a delightful way to start the day. But coffee has taken on a much bigger meaning beyond my morning routine since I joined the Alzheimer Society of Canada six years ago. Working as the national coordinator on the Alzheimer Society Coffee Break® fundraiser, I’m continuously impressed by the energy and creativity demonstrated by Coffee Break supporters from coast to coast every September.
When the Alzheimer Society first introduced the “Coffee Break” campaign eighteen years ago, it was a grassroots endeavour with a simple concept: friends and co-workers gathering in church basements, homes and community centres over a pot of coffee to raise funds for local Alzheimer Societies. No one could have imagined that a simple cup of coffee would be the impetus for a new conversation about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Now every September, thousands of Coffee Breaks happen in communities right across Canada and raise over $1.2 million annually. Funds raised from Coffee Break stay in the community to support essential services like counselling, day programs and respite care for people affected by dementia. Programs like these make all the difference in the way families are able to live with this devastating disease.
As the number of people affected by dementia rises, so too does the need for services. Thankfully, we can call out to our Coffee Break supporters to step up the fundraising ingenuity to help meet the demand for increased services. Today you could find events that include everything from clothing drives, concerts, coffee-making challenges and bake-offs. Really, any excuse to get people together, have fun and raise money and awareness for an important cause will do. Long-time retail partners like Bulk Barn Ltd have gone the extra mile by offering matching funds on their cut-out program on World Alzheimer’s Day, September 21st.
We at the Alzheimer Society are humbled by the generosity and community spirit shown by caring individuals and business across Canada. Hats off to all our Coffee Break hosts, contributors and retail partners.
You too can make your cup of coffee count. Find out how at www.alzheimercoffeebreak.ca.