(STAR) By Lai S. Reyes - Cheers to a happy cup!

Turn your caffeine addiction into good use this holiday season as The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL) let’s you give in to giving with its latest promotion.

If you’re one of the many who has continuously pledged year in and year out to get involved or want to help but don’t know what organizations are out there, let The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf guide you.

Dubbed as “12 Cups with The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf: Give in to Giving,” the oldest and largest privately held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the US has partnered with 12 organizations that cater to different advocacies to give its customers a chance to support the cause they are most passionate about.

“Giving is one of the passions of our generation. Sometimes all one needs is a good head start. Since Christmas is synonymous to giving, we decided to come up with a promotion that will inspire others to help not just one but 12 organizations that they are most passionate about. We hope this project will serve as your springboard,” enthuses Paulo del Rosario, marketing manager of CBTL.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf conducted a survey among its customers to find out which of the charitable foundations in the country need help the most. The organizations which made it to the magic 12 are the Kababaihan Gabay sa Bayan (Kagabay), Caritas Manila-Restorative Justice, The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Bahay Tuluyan, Haribon, Cartwheel Foundation, Kythe, Autism Society of the Philippines (ASP), Philippine Cerebral Palsy, Inc., Philippine Band of Mercy (PBM), Resources for the Blind, and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

“If you noticed, some of the organizations who made it on our list aren’t popular. We didn’t just go out there to choose a foundation with the most mabangong name. We want these small players to be heard and hopefully get the support they needed,” relates Del Rosario.

What’s interesting is that all the sectors — women, children, education, the environment, health, animal welfare — are represented in CBTL’s chosen organizations.

Here’s how you can help. A minimum single receipt purchase of any Ice Blended, Espresso-based, Tea Latte or Double Chocolate drink qualifies a customer to stamp a card. Each stamp card has 12 boxes with corresponding drink assignments. A box will be stamped whenever its corresponding drink assignment is purchased. Stamps can only be availed of during date and time of purchase during the promo period.

“Once all 12 drinks and stamps are completed, the customer can choose one advocacy to support. A form in the ticket card shall be filled out to indicate the chosen advocacy. The customer will also receive one limited edition The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf journal,” explains Del Rosario.

CBTL has also partnered with 12 artists — Zean Cabangis, Erwin Leano, Carlo Angelo Saavedra, Salvador Joel Alonday, Benjie Cabangis, Noell El Farol, Sandra Fabie-Gfeller, Jim Orencio, Riel Hilario, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, Jose Tence Ruiz and Gus Albor — to come up with the giving journal.

“They have agreed for us to use their artworks as covers of the journals. They’ve also donated their obras to us. At the end of the promo, we will raffle off the artworks and all the proceeds will be divided to the 12 organizations,” Del Rosario adds.

The completed stamp card should be presented and surrendered to any participating CBTL branch for the notebook to be redeemed.

“We’re glad that The Coffee Bean didn’t just focus on people’s welfare but the animals as well. Right now, the shelter has 143 cats and 38 dogs that were rescued from very bad situations. The kittens in our quarantine section have infections. We need antibiotics to be able to treat them,” relates Ana Cabrera of PAWS.

In supporting PAWS, CBTL gives abandoned animal a chance at life by providing medicine for the sick felines or canines under their care.

If the environment tops your list, adopt-a-seedling and help The Haribon Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources conserve Philippine Biodiversity.

“We recently launched this advocacy called Road to 2020 or the Rainforestation Advocates and Organization to 2020. It’s a national movement. Our vision is to restore a million hectares of forest by 2020 in the country,” explains Anabelle Plantilla, director, Organizational Sustainability Group.

There’s an urgent need to reforest, Plantilla adds, because we have less than 20 percent forest cover. Scientifically, we need 54 percent to regulate ecological processes.

In choosing to help Haribon, CBTL will adopt-a-seedling under your name.

“Again, we are giving you the chance to choose the organizations you want to help. The PAWS and Haribon are just two on our list. I believe that the passion of our generation is really that we share a piece of ourselves to others,” adds Del Rosario. “Through Give in to Giving, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf hopes this will start changing our generation for the better, one cup at a time.”

The fun doesn’t end there. If you wish to complete the 12 cards and donate to the 12 organizations, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will give you a year’s supply of coffee for free.

So give in to giving now. A cup of coffee for you means your help for others.

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The “12 Cups of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: Give in to Giving” promo runs until Jan. 18, 2009. Visit TCBTL branches at TriNoma, SM The Block, Gateway, Ortigas Park, Paseo Center, Bonifacio High Street, SM Mall of Asia, Convergys in Ayala Ave., Salcedo Village; Alabang Town Center, Rockwell, Robinson’s Ermita, Greenhills Promenade, Robinson’s Galleria, Eastwood City, Tomas Morato, and its two branches in Cebu. For inquiries, visit

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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