Cary, NC – To raise money for a Cary non-profit, one man rode his bicycle 400 miles all across the state, raising awareness along the way for organizations that work with people with disabilities.
Spreading the Word
Kirby Barbour is on the board for Esteamed Coffee, a 501(c)(3) non-profit coffee shop that hires and trains people with disabilities. Esteamed is opening in Cary in mid-2020, though their location is not yet finalized.
Barbour joined Esteamed’s board in early Summer 2019 and said their mission is something he is passionate about, as he is inspired by his son, who is on the autism spectrum.
“It’s about helping to integrate people not just into their work but into the communities. It’s not an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ type mentality,” Barbour said.
Before they open, Esteamed is raising funds and Barbour wanted to help with the “NC Coffee Shop Bike Ride Fundraiser,” where people can donate for each of the 400 miles Barbour rode around the state, between December 3 and 7, 2019. Specifically, Barbour made stops at similar non-profits that work with people with disabilities, including Moji Coffee & More in Winston-Salem, A Special Blend in Greensboro and Awaken in Greenville, among others.
“I’ve always been into fitness but I wanted to create an event to connect all of our activities and highlight others in the area,” Barbour said. “This way, we can connect the dots and raise awareness. We’re all in it together.”
Connecting the Communities
Esteamed will have the numbers on the fundraising campaign in January, as they still have to count matching donations, but the minimum goal was $40,000, or $100 for every mile biked.
But Barbour said the bike ride was also meant to highlight these various organizations and stores and strengthen those bonds.
“If we pool our network, it’s going to benefit everyone,” Barbour said. “We’re already sharing best practices and learning from the other shops. A Special Blend came to Cary and made a presentation to us.”
Barbour said it’s also important to spread the message of what Esteamed, and other similar shops, are trying to do when it comes to providing a place for people with disabilities in society.
“We want to let them demonstrate their skills and let them shine,” Barbour said. “It’s about showing their capabilities, not their disabilities.”
Esteamed Coffee is still accepting donations on their website.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of Esteamed Coffee.