CBTL: Creating a Benchmark for Volunteerism and Social Responsibility

By Mommy Donna and Kib - April 10, 2015

I wanted my son to grow up with a heart for people who are in need.  Whenever there’s an opportunity, we join volunteer activities and put money in donation boxes that we can see in shopping malls.  

I am so happy to learn that one of my favorite coffee shops, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL), is also giving back to the society by organizing events and sparing a part of their income to help the marginalized sector of Philippine society.

CBTL started Give In To Giving in 2008, 12 Cups with the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf campaign, an initiative designed to share this mission with its loyal customers. 

Paolo del Rosario, Vice President for Marketing of CBTL said, “It began by taking something that was relevant to customers at the time—the ‘planner craze’, if you will—and creating something more meaningful that could be an extension of our commitment as a brand to giving back.  What spurred out of this intention was a Commemorative Notebook that became a medium for us, and our patrons, to support advocacies in need and share their blessings.  It  was and continues to be the only journal that encourages more purposeful action towards ones’ social responsibility.”

For the Give In To Giving campaign, customers were asked to collect 12 stamps and choose from any of the 12 advocacies and organizations that CBTL was supporting.  The advocacies and organizations range from women’s groups to children, to animals, to the environment, to the indigenous people, to those with disabilities and illnesses.  When a customer was able to complete 12 stamps, he/she can bring home the commemorative notebook that features artworks from contemporary Filipino artists and the proceeds collected were given to the customer’s chosen organization.  The artworks features on the commemorative notebook were also auctioned and proceeds were donated to charities.

The campaign was such a success that it won numerous awards.

The following year, CBTL introduced its follow-up campaign with 24 Cups of Goodwill.  The proceeds from this campaign were given to the 24 partner-organizations.  The 2010 campaign, Changing Lives with Every Cup, CBTL focused on sending scholars to school by partnering with Real Life Foundation and Adopt-a-Scholar program.  This campaign helped CBTL to send eight (8) scholars to college/university.

iBuild is CBTL’s campaign for 2012.  This campaign helped raise sustainable housing solutions for impoverished families.  Last year, CBTL introduced Brew Your Best Year campaign, which focused on helping their loyal customers to give back to themselves as well.  Through this initiative, CBTL hoped to help each person in their journey towards becoming the best version of themselves.

Indeed, CBTL was able to prove that a brand can also be a medium in addressing social change.

CBTL is just one of the several companies locally and internationally who are putting more focus on developing a culture of volunteerism and social responsibility—recognizing how working together can make a real difference in the community, while opening up opportunities for learning, cooperation and leadership within the organization at the same time.

What makes CBTL unique is their sincerity that drives the company’s initiatives.  They have managed to uplift the true essence of what is truly means to care.

Consistently, CBTL brings people together to participate in various community outreach events.  Nella Lomotan, Engagement Marketing of CBTL said that the company is placing great effort into putting such events together not only for the sole purpose of helping the community, but also to encourage our own Customers and Team Members to spend meaningful time bringing joy to others in an impactful and sincere way.

The pocket initiatives were held monthly and are part of Caring Cup series.  Each event is designed to foster the spirit of volunteerism and giving among its participants, whether it is a simple story telling event in a hospital, a physical fitness session with public school students, a tree planting project, or an art workshop for children with disabilities.

Last February 14, 2015, CBTL held the “Paint the Town Red” event.  Volunteers spent the day of love by giving love to children with disabilities at AIME home via a t-shirt painting activity with the intent of giving kids something that they will always remember.

“The Caring Cup is a way for us to expand and uphold a vision that we have long established for the company, where we hope to cultivate the spirit of volunteerism in our Community.  We strongly encourage everyone who wants to be a part of something that impacts the life of others in a meaningful way to visit our stores and sign up for our next events,” said del Rosario.

***follow CBTL’s social media pages and subscribe to www.brewyourbestyear.com to stay updated on their Caring Cup events.

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