The Gift that Keeps on Giving

In Memory and Gratitude: Breezy (Elizabeth) Green

Breezy in Costa Rica.

Breezy Green first connected with CAN in 2002, when she met two Costa Rican coffee farmers from Coopepueblos Coffee Cooperative in Costa Rica. University of California, Santa Cruz professor and CAN co-founder Steve Gliessman had invited Victor Méndez and Roberto Jiménez to speak in his Agroecology class. Coopepueblos and CAN were partnering to bring roasted coffee directly to coffee drinkers’ mail boxes across the US, returning five times more to the Cooperative thn they received through the normal market.

Victor shared a story about visiting a Starbuck’s coffee shop the day before. He was shocked at the price of a cup of coffee. He pulled out his pocket calculator and figured out how little coffee farmers were getting for the beans in that cup of coffee. Deeply moved by the injustice, he asked the class, “Is this what we have to pull our children out of school for?”

Breezy heard Victor’s story and was moved, too. She became one of CAN’s first sponsors that day! Breezy’s love of nature and sense of justice aligned with CAN’s grassroots efforts in rural communities.

Very sadly, Breezy passed away in 2017. But her dream lives on. In passing she bequeathed a portion of her estate to CAN. We’ve been working closely with her family to establish a special fund that fits Breezy’s compassion and gift of giving.

Breezy was an important part of nurturing CAN’s beginnings. Now her gift to CAN will keep on giving as we continue our work in partnerships with rural communities. Her generous gift has strengthened CAN as an organization and a network, providing ongoing support to our work. In 2019, Breezy contributed to CAN’s International Youth Exchange, making it possible for 20 youth to create knowledge, share skills, and support each other’s work to bring justice to our food system. In 2020, she has increased CAN’s capacity to build strategic partnerships, galvanizing and growing CAN’s base of supporters standing in solidarity with small farmers and farmworkers in Mexico, Nicaragua, and Watsonville. Breezy is also making it possible for CAN to hire a new team member focused on stewarding CAN’s financial sustainability so that Breezy’s passion for supporting small farmers that care for the Earth will live on through CAN’s work for years to come.

Thank you, Breezy. Your big heart and trust in CAN has and will continue to sustain long-term relationships between grassroots organizations building the world you knew was possible.