This month Getchusomegear, the North Carolina-based organization providing free coffee equipment and educational materials to coffee professionals from marginalized communities, turned one year old. In that short amount of time, founder Chris McAuley has raised over $5,000 worth of coffee gear donations to be redistributed and bring better levels of access to tools of the trade to those who historically have not had them.
After a wildly successful year one, McCauley and Getchusomegear are looking to expand their mission even further by officially becoming a non-profit organization, which perplexingly enough, requires a not-insignificant amount of money. That’s why McAuley has created a GoFundMe page to help raise the $3,500 necessary to make this a reality.
Originally started at the end of February, Getchusomegear’s GoFundMe campaign has seen a surge in donations over the past few days, netting over $1,110 of the total $3,000 contributed as of this writing. Per the campaign, the funds will help to defray the cost of hiring a lawyer to help navigate the often murky waters of applying for non-profit status, any fees associated with filing for 501c3, hiring an accountant to help with finances, as well as providing additional support to gear box recipients competing at US Coffee Champs.
“We have been working quietly behind the scenes to carry out our mission for just over a year now. But now, we are ready to make noise and go even harder to lift up the folks that cis-white-straight coffee leadership has gaslit and mistreated,” McAuley tells Sprudge. “The last company I worked for perpetuated so many of the racist, misogynistic, and transphobic ideals that are very present in the coffee industry today. The voices of marginalized folx were either stifled, ignored, or just too damn tired from speaking up so much. I was one of those people.”
“Getchusomegear was (and still is!) my safe place to build community and find happiness in coffee,” McAuley continues. “It is a reminder for me to keep pushing forward with my goals, and to keep fighting for my staff despite the fact that there weren’t many people at that company who were willing to fight for me in real time, when shit was going down. The Getchu family was here for me through all that. I’m indebted to the black, brown, queer, trans, and non-binary coffee folx that I’ve met through this scrappy little project—so i can’t be quiet about my experience any longer.”
McAuley tells Sprudge that as a 501c3, Getchusomegear will be able to further their mission by expanding and paying their staff, gaining access to public and private grants, and a newly created education department to “produce tangible brewing/coffee resources for gear box recipients.” Getchusomegear is even in the beginning stages of creating a Canadian chapter.
“The 501c3 status gives us credibility, and I kind of hate that,” McAuley states. “But when this project started there were only a handful of companies that were willing to donate to a cause that didn’t have the government’s official stamp. I think the perpetual existence of a non-profit organization will help ease that tension a little bit.”
And for those unable to support financially, McAuley states that Getchusomegear is always seeking coffee gear donations to help fill out their boxes, including coffee swag. “We will never ever turn down a scale, kettle, or grinder though,” McAuley adds. If you don’t have any extra equipment you are ready to part ways with, you can always help spread the word by sharing the Getchusomegear GoFundMe across your various social platforms. For more information or do offer support financially, visit Getchusomegear’s GoFundMe page.
Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.