LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (NCC News)- The Hope Café is different from other local coffee and tea places, and it is not because of a special drink it serves. All of the profits go to The People Project, a non-profit organization founded in Syracuse. The project provides assistance to people who live in impoverished areas around the world.
CEO of the restaurant and charity, Matthew Cullipher, said that the number one mission of the project can be found just by looking at the name.
“We’re The People Project, meaning that it’s about people who are helping other people,” Cullipher said.
The mottos “People helping people” and “Hope is contagious, pass it on!” support the charity’s goal of providing food, clean water, an education and more.
The project started 17 years ago in Peru, where Cullipher and others helped one small village build a school and church. Now the charity has expanded, helping people on four continents and in 13 countries, which is something that Cullipher never could have imagined.
“Even when we built the school, the last thing I had in mind was: Oh, now we’re gonna do Africa, and a bunch of other places in South America, and Asia, and tons of stuff here in the U.S,” Cullipher said. “It just wasn’t on my radar, I just wanted to help that one little village and that was it.”
Currently, The People Project is doing work in Kenya and Zambia, but Cullipher has high hopes that there will be even more projects in the future, in those two countries but also in other places.
“At this point, we went from our school in Kenya to now three schools in Kenya, and the school in Zambia which didn’t exist before,” Cullipher said. “And so now there’s 850 students between our three schools, and this place pays for 90 percent of their food and education.”
The Hope Café has been instrumental in raising funds for the charity to provide more assistance to those who need it. It has been so successful that there is another café being planned on Route 57 in New York to bring in more money for current and future projects.
Visit their website at https://thepeopleprojectin.wixsite.com/peopleproject to learn more.