The Common Good
November-December 1999

Resources for Study and Action

by Ryan Beiler | November-December 1999

Coffee for a Cause

Coffee for a Cause

Tired of corporate foot-dragging on codes of conduct by coffee industry "stars"? Take your "bucks" to coffee suppliers that respect their growers and the earth and support Christian ministry. Pura Vida Coffee boasts gourmet beans grown in Costa Rica’s famed Tarraz· region mainly by small, family-owned farms that promote organic fertilizers and recycle coffee byproducts. Suppliers pay fair wages, meet Ministry of Labor standards, and provide free housing for harvesters. All profits support ministries in Costa Rica that provide clothing and food to street children, housing for those recovering from addiction, and adult job-training programs. A one-pound bag costs $8.95, with bulk and fund-raising discounts available. Visit for more information or call 1-888-577-4JOY.

Exploring America’s Wealth Gap

Shifting Fortunes: The Perils of the Growing American Wealth Gap is a concise, facts-and-figures-filled report from United for a Fair Economy that explodes the myths of our "booming" economy. Already a valuable resource for journalists, elected officials, and concerned citizens, its 94 pages discuss the wage gap, cost of living, debt traps, racial issues, and possible solutions. Cost is $6.95 plus $2 postage with bulk discounts available. Contact United for a Fair Economy, 37 Temple Place, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02111; 1-877-564-6833; excerpts at

Frank Discussion About You-Know-What

According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, nearly half of women age 15 to 19 who abstain from sexual activity cite religious or moral belief. Founded in 1996, the campaign is a diverse, nonpartisan coalition that aims "to prevent teen pregnancy by supporting values and stimulating actions that are consistent with a pregnancy-free adolescence." Nine Tips to Help Faith Leaders and Their Communities Address Teen Pregnancy is a pamphlet from the campaign’s Religion and Public Values Task Force that encourages addressing spiritual needs, open discussion of sexuality, and community outreach—and includes a list of faith-based resources to aid those efforts. Contact the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2100 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20037; (202) 261-5655;

Poetic Protest Calendar

The War Resisters League has produced the 45th edition of its Peace Calendar, Poems of Protest for the Year 2000. This 5-by-8 inch desk calendar and peace and justice directory features the work of 20th-century writers on issues of nonviolence, environmental justice, and human rights, with artwork by Peter Schumann and the Bread and Puppet Theatre. Cost is $12 each or four for $44, plus $1.50 postage per calendar. Contact WRL, 339 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10012; (212) 228-0450;

The Gift of Livestock

What do you give the loved one who has everything? For years Heifer Project International has been helping poor people all over the world become self-reliant through an innovative gift-giving program. "Give" your friends anything from a flock of ducks ($20) to a water buffalo ($250) to a collection of animals called "The Ark" ($5,000). Your friend receives a card explaining the gift, and a family in need receives the actual animals and necessary training, under the condition that they pass on one or more of its offspring to another family in need, further extending the reach of your gift. For HPI’s Holiday Gift Catalog, call 1-800-698-2511 or visit

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