We’ve just posted our latest story in our series of inspiring Rally fundraising campaigns on Yahoo! Shine. This week we meet Lisa Miccolis, the founder and president of the non-profit the Monkey and the Elephant. Behind the whimsical name lies a serious story about how a former foster kid in South Africa inspired Lisa to launch an organization to help young adults who have aged out of the foster-care system in Philadelphia.
For Lisa Miccolis the path to working with former foster kids in Philadelphia began with safari animals…and coffee.
Lisa, the founder and president of the non-profit organization and coffee shop the Monkey and the Elephant, got the name from a secret code she started using several years ago, after a trip to South Africa. In October 2008, bringing little more than her clothes and her camera, she visited a friend who had been living in Cape Town and owned a bakery there.
Lisa hung out at her friend’s bakeshop, chatting with workers and customers and eventually connecting with Homestead Projects for Street Children, a local non-profit that works to get boys off the streets of Cape Town. Homestead thought her photography skills might be useful, so she agreed to meet with the staff and the boys living at its shelter.
“I went to the orphanage and saw a young man sitting at a desk with a journal and a pen,” Lisa recalled. “The staff told me, ‘Oh, that’s Ephraim. He’s writing his life story,'” a life story that soon became enmeshed with hers.
Find out the meaning behind the Monkey and the Elephant passcode, and the mission of the Monkey and the Elephant cafe, at “This Week’s Rally for Good: Coffee for a Cause in the City of Brotherly Love.”