The skinny on Radical Love Inc
Radical Love Inc was officially incorporated as a nonprofit in January 2013 in the great state of Ohio. Our founders were a group of college friends from the University of Toledo looking to change their city and world by loving it. A few of them had traveled internationally for missions and had a strong desire to continue this work in a sustainable, effective way. Our executive director had spent time living and working in the coffee farms of Chiapas (México), and had spent 7 years serving the people of Matamoros (México). Naturally, our experiences and passions pushed us to focus our energy on the colonias of westhern Mexico.
And our name. We wanted our name to represent our desire to love and serve others. We wanted people to see something different or radical about us and the work we would do . Thus, we go by Radical Love Inc (Rad Love and RLI too).
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
We work to empower rural communities towards sustainable livelihoods. That means we focus our efforts on those individuals who have been historically disenfranchised (i.e. the poor and indigenous). We work alongside rural communities to identify needs, and to create solutions. By working with locals to identify needs and solutions, we empower communities by giving them a voice. Communities decide the direction they want to go and we help them get there. This strategy also encourages buy-in and the successful completion of projects. It also discourages us from making assumptions, and wasting resources on projects that communities would not benefit from.
What’s up with all the coffee? One of the ways we fund the work we do is through coffee. Coffee is a major export crop for Central America, and the livelihoods for millions of people in the region depend on coffee production. By purchasing fairtrade/organic coffees, we get to play a role in helping individuals in coffee farming communities earn equitable wages. All our coffees are roasted locally in Toledo, and we ship them across the country. We also sell our coffees at any churches and conferences that will have us!
The people who lead our organization are awesome and work hard to push forward our mission. All our directors have been to our outreach sites in Mexico. They know the region and faces of the people we serve. We hired our first part-time employee in 2016, and we’re excited to keep growing our team into the future. This allows us to expand our programs, and share stories about what we do with you.
Everything we do is volunteer based. We’re always looking to provide individuals with the space to serve. If you are looking to use your talents and time to build into a good organization, please send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). You could help us behind the scenes, or fly down to one of our research sites and join us in the field.