Eight Austin coffee shops join nationwide fundraiser for the ACLU

Ralph Barrera / American-Statesman. Houndstooth Coffee is one of the participating coffee shops in Sprudge's nationwide fundraiser for the ACLU.

Ralph Barrera / American-Statesman. Houndstooth Coffee is one of the participating coffee shops in Sprudge’s nationwide fundraiser for the ACLU.

A handful of local coffee shops have stepped forward to participate in a fundraiser for the American Civil Liberties Union — a nonprofit that has received a record number of donations since President Donald Trump’s executive order last week severely restricting immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries.

The fundraiser has been organized by Sprudge, a publication that ordinarily writes about coffee and the caffeinated culture surrounding it.

Austin coffee shops taking part in it are Fleet Coffee Co., Epoch Coffee, the Wright Bros. Brew & Brew, Caffe Medici, Vintage Heart Coffee, Houndstooth Coffee, Once Over Coffee Bar and Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors. Each one will donate a portion of their profits today through Sunday to the ACLU. In addition to those funds, Sprudge has announced that it will match the first $500 that each of 26 participating coffee brands raise, Fleet among them.

“We are honored to be a part of a nationwide fundraiser for the ACLU this weekend, February 3-5,” Fleet Coffee wrote on Instagram. Twenty percent “of all revenue will be donated to this great cause. On top of that, we will have a jar available to collect additional donations.”

Each of the coffee shops might be doing something a little different to help.

Once Over Coffee on South First Street, for instance, is also contributing 20 percent of all weekend sales to the campaign, while Caffe Medici — which has five locations around the city — is donating 20 percent of sales from all of their shops on Sunday to Refugee Services of Texas-Austin, “which helps welcome and support people who are coming to our state,” as the coffee company noted on Instagram.

Then there’s Houndstooth, located in both Austin and Dallas, which is matching the first $1,000 in donations at each cafe. At the Brew & Brew, located in East Austin, order a filter or iced coffee if you want your money to benefit the ACLU. And at Vintage Heart on East Seventh Street, 5 percent of all drink sales are being donated.

But these local coffee purveyors aren’t the only ones contributing to the cause. Since Sprudge organized the fundraiser earlier this week, more than 175 coffee brands and more than 400 cafes around the United States have decided to participate in it.

The publication said in its announcement of the nationwide fundraiser that it does not normally get involved in political matters. That changed last week with President Trump’s executive order.

“We believe that the current executive order banning refugees from the United States and immigration from 7 majority Muslim nations is illegal, immoral, and fundamentally un-American,” Sprudge wrote. “Like a hot mug of drip coffee spilled on a crisp white apron, these actions are a dark stain on our national conscience, and as Americans, we feel compelled to stand up against them.”

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