We truly appreciate the many calls and notes that we have received about the devastating earthquake in Nepal. Each genuine expression of concern is heartwarming to us and has been passed along to our friends in Nepal.
We are relieved to let you know that the Ilam region (the part of Nepal where our teas are grown) has remained relatively untouched by the earthquake. And, our colleagues and their families who reside in Kathmandu are all safe. But, as you likely know, the devastation is enormous, and things will likely get worse before they get better. Much of the already challenged infrastructure (roads, communications, healthcare, etc.) has been destroyed, and that will certainly impact all aspects of life there, including the tea industry. The needs are tremendous, and Nepal will be rebuilding for years to come.
The Nepali Tea Restoration Fund
Many of you have inquired about what can be done to help. As you likely know, funds are needed for this urgent and critical relief effort, and for massive rebuilding. We have been touched by the expressed support and concerns, and in response, we have decided to launch the Nepali Tea Restoration Fund. In order to seed this fund, Nepali Tea Traders will donate the greater of (1) all profits for the remainder of the year and (2) 20 percent of sales. We hope that you will join us by contributing to rebuilding this beautiful country for these wonderful and gracious people. We will continue to consult with those impacted in Nepal to determine the best use of these funds, given the many pressing needs within and beyond the tea industry. Of course, we will keep you posted on how these funds will be disbursed. We will communicate more information and specifics on this fund in the coming weeks.
Please note that neither Nepali Tea Traders, nor this new fund, are 501(C)(3) charitable organizations.
In a touching coincidence, as we worked yesterday on these plans, the doorbell rang, and we received a package of fresh, first flush teas that had been mailed just before the earthquake. We reflected on the fact that when we started this business just over two years ago, our commitment was to help Nepal by building a sustainable tea economy. The earthquake and its destruction has strengthened our resolve, and we will continue to work with our partners in Nepal to build the business, support the farmers and factories that supply our tea and improve lives in a meaningful, sustainable way.
Thank you for supporting our business and sharing our vision. We'd also ask that you keep the Nepalese people, and especially the families that grow and supply our tea, in your thoughts and prayers.