Amanda Hart
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A 2nd Cup Starting Something that Matters

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By: Amanda Hart

GOOD and Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS and the Start Something That Matters Foundation, have teamed up to help budding social entrepreneurs launch ideas with the power to change the world—for good! Hundreds of dreamers and world-changers submitted proposals to the Start Something That Matters Challenge for a chance to win $50K in support from GOOD and Mycoskie’s foundation.

Erica Raggett, founder of A 2nd Cup in the Houston Heights area, submitted her innovative idea for a coffee shop—a self-sustaining organization that will fight human trafficking by raising awareness, partnering with other anti-trafficking organizations, and generating funds to provide after-care for survivors. The panel of judges chose 30 finalists to move on to the voting round, and A 2nd Cup emerged as the one-and-only Houston-area organization represented on the challenge’s online ballot, open for public vote through June 14.

A 2nd Cup is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit coffee shop fighting human trafficking in Houston, one of the most intense regions for human trafficking according to the Department of Justice. The shop provides an avenue for awareness of the issue of human-trafficking in Houston and works towards the abolition of slavery in the city. A 2nd Cup works alongside a variety of anti-trafficking organizations and movements to raise awareness, generate interest, and engage the public to take action in anti-trafficking initiatives. The coffee shop will be a money-making engine to fund after-care solutions for survivors of human-trafficking, including housing, mentoring, tutoring, job-skills, and other life skills for reintegration into society.

A 2nd Cup is already making a positive impact for a cause that matters to many Houstonians, but the $50K grant and mentorship from this challenge would help fast-track the coffee shop to its funding goals. With the award, A 2nd Cup could invest more deeply in fighting human trafficking through a permanent location for education and partnerships.

A 2nd Cup’s founders, board of directors and sea of volunteers realize fighting for justice is a huge endeavor: many must participate to create much-needed change. All involved hope not only for the extra funding, but also that the added visibility afforded by the challenge will encourage many more people to participate, fulfilling the first tenet of the coffee shop’s mission—raise awareness.

The challenge is supported by GOOD Maker, a medium that gives individuals and organizations the ability to tap into the public’s creativity and energy to address issues important to them. The heart of the challenge is found in Mycoskie’s book, Start Something That Matters, where he reveals his goal to propel others into making a positive impact.  The book chronicles his deep sense of responsibility to share everything TOMS has learned as an organization over its past five years—successes and failures—to inspire others to chart their own course.