Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Students give up coffee for charity

Each morning, a crowd of sleep-deprived students line up at Starbucks in the Ferguson Center to get their morning “cup of joe.” The long line of customers that seems to persist throughout the day reveals something about the UA student body: They love their coffee.

The Mocha Club is a community of people who have pledged to give up two mochas each month, a savings of about $7, and donate the money instead to human aid programs in Africa, the Mocha Club website states.

Mocha Club is a national non-profit organization that was started to give students a way to make an impact among impoverished people in Africa.

The average student may not think twice of spending $7 or more on a visit to their favorite coffee shop, a ticket at the movie theatre or a meal at Fresh Foods. For many Africans living in poverty, however, $7 can mean the difference between life and death.

“Seven dollars in Africa can sustain life for one person living with AIDS, provide clean water to seven Africans for one year or save one person’s life from malaria,” the website states.

Participants in the club can specify which of five causes they would like their monthly donation to support.

“The different projects they offer are Education, Child Mothers and Women at Risk, HIV/AIDS and Healthcare, Clean Water and Orphan Care and Vulnerable Children,” UA campus representative Tara Northington said.

“Mocha Club is totally an affordable way for many college students to become connected to Africa without having thousands of dollars to travel or give,” she said.

Northington said she became interested in the club after learning about it from another student at Get On Board Day. Interest turned into involvement after a broken hip from horseback riding gave her a good amount of time to browse the Internet and learn more about the club, she said.

The national Mocha Club organization began in 2005 and has since saved and improved the lives of numerous Africans.

In 2009, nearly $3 million were donated by participants across the country to the Mocha Club to fund projects in Africa, according to the organization’s website. The club strives to maintain low costs and overhead so that the maximum amount of money possible can go directly to the projects.

“Right now the Mocha Club is working on something called ‘FashionABLE,’ selling scarves that are handmade by women in Ethiopia to rescue them from the sex industry and giving women a new self respect through providing them with an honest living for their families,” Northington said.

Sixteen new water wells have been built in Sudan, providing clean drinking water to thousands, she said. Although these wells are built to supply the needs of 500 people, many wells are being used by 1,000 or more due to lack of clean water.

Mocha Club also provides assistance to the large number of orphans in various countries in Africa.

“We have orphan care projects in Sudan, Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe where we provide the children with safe housing, protection and complete care-food, education, spiritual direction, medical attention and vocational training,” the website states.

Northington said she would like to spread the message of Mocha Club to greek houses and other student organizations. More information about Mocha Club can be found at


More to Discover