This postcard is an example of the work The Fitch Group does to support Fresh and Green's work in Ethiopia.
In a poverty-stricken neighborhood of Addis Ababa, a mother meticulously hand weaves a beautiful scarf that will be shipped and sold thousands of miles away to help support Fresh and Green Academy, an Ethiopian school where her children are educated and fed. Half a world away, in the midtown-Manhattan printing facility of Fitch Group, one of New York’s longest-running printers, digital printing presses are hard at work, rolling out a series of postcards that describe the work of this mother and others like her – women who are part of a Mothers’ Cooperative that supports the impoverished students at Fresh and Green Academy.
The Ethiopian mother and the Manhattan printer are disparate colleagues, but they share a passion to support the work of this extraordinary school for impoverished children, which was founded 12 years ago by a local Ethiopian teacher. Their efforts are united thanks to the work of Friends of Fresh and Green, Inc., a New York-based non-profit organization whose sole mission is to keep this special African school going.
Jim Shevlin of Fitch Group explains how his firm came to be associated with Friends of Fresh and Green. “I met Gregg Rubenstein, Executive Officer of Friends, about four years ago at a professional association meeting – and I was immediately moved and impressed by the work his organization is doing to support this school in Ethiopia. Fitch Group has a long history of working with non-profit organizations, so when Gregg and his wife, Trish, approached us about doing some work for the school, we were thrilled to get involved.”
Friends of Fresh and Green is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, created to ensure the continuation and success of Fresh and Green Academy. Trish Hack-Rubenstein is a flight attendant and Founder and President of the organization. On a life-changing trip to Fresh and Green Academy in 2008, Trish saw that the school was in transition and dangerously low on funding. Upon returning to the U.S., she helped found Friends of Fresh and Green and now travels to the Academy several times a year.
Friends of Fresh and Green helps support students at the academy by providing funds for daily nutritional meals, a well-rounded education and access to adequate medical care and clean water. The Mothers’ Cooperative is a program at the academy, created to provide personal empowerment for the students’ mothers by helping them to earn their own money, learn new skills and provide for their families’ future. Each time one of their handmade scarves is sold and shipped through an online store on the Friends of Fresh and Green website, one of the Fitch-printed postcards accompanies the item, describing the work of the cooperative and the organization – and soliciting support for the school.
Fitch Group is accustomed to serving a variety of clients and industries, having provided on-demand printing and binding services for over 125 years in the New York metro area. Their work for Friends of Fresh and Green is not unusual in and of itself. Fitch has printed a number of traditional items for this client, from organizational brochures and event invitations, to banners, event program books and the aforementioned postcards. But few Fitch Group projects have the kind of worldwide impact as does their work for Friends of Fresh and Green.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to support Friends of Fresh and Green,” Shevlin commented. “The work they’re doing is remarkable and inspiring. It’s rewarding for Fitch Group to be a part of that, by printing their pieces and helping them get the word out about this special school. It’s not every day that you can say your work is helping to make the world a better place. We’re pleased that our small efforts for the organization can help them to have such an impact on the lives of these children and families on the other side of the world.”
Trish Hack-Rubenstein has been grateful for the support of Fitch Group and notably impressed with the quality of the printer’s work. “Everything they do is high quality and very prompt,” she says. “They are just so good to work with. We appreciate the personalized, individualized work they do for us; especially how they work with us, as a non-profit with a very small budget.”