Child Life Coffee, committed to delivering premium coffee to those with a desire to give back, was founded by Todd and his wife Morgan following a very personal experience with a Child Life Team.
Hello, my name is Todd. This is my wife Morgan, my son James, and my daughter Amelia. Together, we offer high-quality coffee at competitive prices, but the real benefit of sipping on our coffee is knowing that every purchase provides support to children and families in hospital settings. One cup at a time, CLC supports Child Life Programs that have a direct impact on children’s physical and emotional health and well-being. We also strive to ensure that families and healthcare workers have the energy they need by regularly sending our coffee to local hospitals.
We partnered with several of the finest roasters in the country to create our premium coffee line full of traditional and exotic varieties. Our coffee beans are sourced directly from hard-working, reputable producers around the world, and roasted only after your order is received. Then, it’s shipped directly from our roasters to you in two to three days, ensuring the freshest cup of coffee every time.
By drinking our coffee, you are helping us change lives. You can feel less guilty about your coffee addiction, knowing it is directly restoring hope to children and families who experience a hospitalization. We think you’ll also love receiving fresh, delicious, and affordable coffee right to your doorstep. Now THAT is something to drink to!
2018 was a year of our highest highs and our lowest lows and ultimately changed our lives forever. We did not realize it at the time, but it set our family on a trajectory of spiritual and personal growth the likes of which we had never imagined.
We were on track to have a fantastic year after closing on our first house and preparing for the birth of our son, James. However, we had just barely settled into our new home before beginning our journey with MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
A few weeks after birth, our son was diagnosed with an exceedingly rare liver condition called Biliary Atresia. This disease affects about 1 in every 15,000 infants, and most require a liver transplant within their first year of life to survive. James received his life-saving liver transplant when he was just eight months old after a very generous extended family member, who we lovingly refer to as Auntie Elise, stepped forward to donate 30% of her liver. Her courage and selflessness saved James’ life, and for that, we are forever grateful. Even now, there is not a day that goes by where we do not think of her life-altering gift. She may not know it, but she truly is our hero.
During the eight months leading up to his liver transplant, and many months after, our family lived at the hospital. We never left James alone in his hospital crib, and it was a constant battle for his life. Between learning about his condition, navigating being first-time parents, and preparing for his transplant, we felt like we were running an endless marathon.
Along the way, we met many families who were also experiencing hardship, many of whom could not be at their child’s bedside 24/7 like we were for James. We also became acquainted with the healthcare team and got to know every nurse, technician, and staff member on every shift. Around this time, we learned about Child Life Specialists.
Child Life Specialists
Their role is to help children and families cope with the stress and uncertainty they experience while in the hospital. They provide age-appropriate interventions such as therapeutic play, self-expression activities, preparation for upcoming procedures, and education to reduce fear, anxiety, and pain. They work tirelessly in partnership with doctors, nurses, social workers, and volunteers to meet each child’s unique emotional, developmental, and cultural needs. But most importantly, they provide healing, comfort, and love to children who are in an otherwise scary and painful environment. They did this for our baby, and they did this for us.
The whole medical team did an excellent job treating our baby, but it was the Child Life Specialists who had the most significant impact. They are so passionate about what they do, and they demonstrated it every single day. They always reminded us we were not in this alone and provided us the support and resources we desperately needed at the time. We didn’t know it at the time, but their support helped keep us out of dark places.
Their desire to care, to serve, and to help was inspiring. Through every needle poke, procedure, and cry, the Child Life Team was by James’ side. They provided us with the wrap around support we desperately needed as new parents trying to navigate a condition we had not even heard of prior to James’ diagnosis, and we always felt comforted knowing they were with us. We know the positive impact they had on our family was only a fraction of the impact they provide on dozens if not hundreds of families every single year; often with very limited funding and resources. We saw this as an opportunity to give back, and ultimately, this became the leading driver behind the founding of Child Life Coffee. But with limited finances and time, we weren’t quite sure what this would look like.
My wife and I have always been coffee lovers. It helped keep us going throughout our many months in the hospital with James and although we never really cared for hospital coffee, there was a Keurig in the break room that became our saving grace. The hospital had a hard time keeping the K-cup carousel stocked due to the many parents using coffee as their lifeline. One night I went to the Keurig, praying there would be just one precious K-cup left, but sadly there was not. And I really needed a coffee; I was the kind of tired, empty, and defeated only coffee could cure. I started making my way back to our hospital room with an empty cup when a nurse came walking by. She noticed my cup was empty, and she probably also noticed the sad look on my face.
“Out of coffee again?” She said.
“Yes…” I stared groggily at my empty cup and continued moping back to our hospital room.
“Wait, hold on a sec.” She turned the corner and headed towards the nurse’s supply cabinet located behind the nurse’s station. She came back with a single k-cup in her hand and offered it to me. My eyes lit up. But it was her next words that provided me with the inspiration I needed to finally figure out how we were going to give back to the hospital. “Here, this stuff is like currency around here.”
In that instant, I knew how we could give back. We could donate coffee. We started by bringing in boxes of k-cups that we picked up from the grocery store and placing them in the break room for all to enjoy. Occasionally, we even brought in coffee from the local café or handed out a few coffee gift cards to the nurses. It wasn’t much, but it was always appreciated.
After James’ transplant, it took over a year and a half for our lives to reach some semblance of normalcy. James was thriving and healthy. We knew how lucky we were. Over time, our simple coffee donations developed into a full-fledged business plan for providing coffee that everyone can enjoy, while supporting a Child Life Program at the same time. Thus, out of our love for giving and our passion for helping others, Child Life Coffee was born.
Where they are now
Todd and his wife, Morgan, currently reside in Manassas, VA, about 30 miles outside of Washington D.C. with their two children, James and Amelia. Despite the occasional bump in the road, James is healthy and thriving. He continues to have regular visits at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital where he received his transplant. He is always greeted with smiling nurses, doctors, and child life specialists who absolutely love seeing him. James still gets to see his donor, Auntie Elise, and the pair adore each other. Although James is only two, Todd can swear James knows just how special his Auntie Elise really is. James also recently became a big brother. His baby sister is 8 weeks old, and he is full of so much love for her! Todd and Morgan believe it is partially because of the love he has received so far in his life – from both his family at home and his family at Georgetown.
Child Life Coffee is dedicated to expanding Child Life Programs in hopes that every hospitalized child and family will receive the support they did. We are beginning this mission by serving the Child Life Program that started it all: MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. To learn more about Georgetown’s Child Life Program, click here.
We are only just beginning our new journey, and we hope you will join our movement. Our mission is simple: cup by cup, child by child, we will change the world.
We would love to connect with you! Please reach out at CustomerCare@ChildLifeCoffee.com.