By Ashley Mackin
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters hosted Coffee for a Cause on Nov. 4, a fundraiser for the Wounded Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Warriors Foundation. The proceeds will be used to provide services for the families of wounded military members.
Kevin Childre, founder/director of Undefeated, the West Coast’s fundraising division of Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation and a 30-year active duty EOD technician, helped organize the event.
“There’s a lot of wounded-something warriors out there,” Childre said. “In this case, the Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation supports our wounded EOD technicians (those who disarm and dispose of unexploded military devices). The Department of Defense does a fantastic job of providing initial and follow-on care for the wounded (service members). Where it falls short is with the family.”
The funds raised through such events provide grants and stipends, home health care, additional furnishings or appliances (like ramps) to help the families provide care longterm. Childre said these soldiers will need additional help for the rest of their lives and there is no other government organization that provides such help.
Coffee for a Cause came about with help from San Diego Joe blogger Jessica Percifield-Henry. In seeking donations for another Wounded EOD Warriors fundraiser, Percifield-Henry contacted Bird Rock Roasters’ Chuck Patton, who suggested hosting a tasting event at his cafe.
At the event, six roasters offered samples of coffee roasted in unconventional ways. Steve Freese of Coffee and Tea Collective offered samples using Siphon Vacuum Brewing and talked about how different brewing methods will change the taste of the coffee. For example, he said someone could grind the same coffee in an espresso machine and a French press and it would taste completely different.
Patton said San Diego is becoming more “coffee-centric,” so the event was a success.
“What I’d like to do develop something that showcases San Diego coffee and also showcases the fact that San Diego coffee companies are trying to give back to the community by supporting great causes.” He also said he hopes this event will be the first of many.
The next scheduled fundraiser for the Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation — and their biggest one all year — is the Undefeated Bike Ride. During the Columbus Day weekend, wounded service members participate in a bike ride with specialty bikes to accommodate any injuries. Learn more at eodride.org or woundedeodwarrior.org
“If you don’t pick Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation, I’m good with that, just pick a wounded warrior somewhere because after 12 years of warfare, there’s a lot of people who are going to need help today, and as we look down the road with post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic head injuries, we’re going to see an overwhelming wave of folks who are going to need help beyond what the government can provide.”