Community Builders

Veteran Creates Coffee to Sustain Project that Helps Veterans

The War Horse Project (TWHP), an organization, focused on helping veterans and first responders overcome Operational Stress Injuries through equine therapy, has found an innovative way to generate funds and help even more veterans: coffee.

TWHP has teamed up with the creators of SNARK (Sustainable Network of Artisan Roasted Koffie) to offer five blends and nine regional roasts. Priced between $15.95 and $19.95 the regional coffees come from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Sumatra, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru. Blends include three Vienna roasts, a French roast, and a Swiss Water Processed Decaf.

In addition, two blends were created just for the TWHP: “Bloggin’s Brew” and “Master Jacked,” designed to meet the needs of military personnel and their palates.

“Our coffee offerings change with the seasons, as coffee is a crop, not a can of pop,” said Kim Berry, an artisan coffee roaster and co-founder of SNARK.

SNARK was also co-created by Jeff Lehoux, a veteran who was faced with a career-ending injury in 2005 while deployed to Afghanistan. Post-service, Lehoux started working with Maj. Edward Smith, President of International Children’s Awareness Canada. He and Berry then came up with the idea of selling coffee as a way of generating revenue for non-for-profit organizations. 

Ten per cent of every order will go directly to TWHP.

“The sale of coffee will create a monthly revenue stream to help offset the cost of providing the program to those in need, and included in that of course, is the cost of caring for the dozen or so horses that are used in the program.  While we run TWHP intakes for eight months of the year, many of the alumni return over the winter months to interact and ride the horses. It is an important part of their ‘aftercare’ routine,” said Alison Vandergragt, Program Director at Hope Reins Equine Assisted Therapy.

Support from organizations like SNARK is vital to TWHP to ensure the organization can continue to support veterans and First Responders through equine therapy.

“The importance of having this kind of community support is vital to the program’s sustainability.  One of our strategic planning goals is to generate a solid revenue of monthly financial support.  Having Kerryhill Realty and SNARK on board will hopefully inspire other businesses and individuals to do something similar, or commit to another method of support like monthly horse sponsorship,” added Vandergragt.

The next intake for the next TWHP sessions begins March 10, 2017, however, the applications are already coming in. Vandergragt expects that if a significant donation can be collected by the end of January 2017, TWHP can take on additional attendees in the next session.

To order your uniquely crafted coffee online click here. The coffee will then be shipped to your residence. Shipping is free on orders of four pounds or more.

To learn more about TWHP or to apply to the program visit their website.

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MIshall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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