Innofarmer Tea has it's roots firmly planted in a country that bases so much of it's culture, history and even its future on the simple act of giving. For example, in 2004 I landed in a country that - at the time - was (to me!) only known by name. That's it. Little else. After only a few hours and some difficulty with the local language (Chinese Mandarin), I was at home. The people, the culture and the warm welcoming feeling from the Taiwanese people helped me to overcome the initial haunt of culture shock and helped me to eventually call Taiwan my home for 9 years - almost to the day!
Now it's time to give back...and not just to the Taiwanese but also to the Organizations, Associations, Committees and Clubs that seek to make a change for people across all walks of life.
This past weekend, Innofarmer Tea had the fortune to attend the Cancer Survivors Gathering at the Head Quarters of the Canadian Cancer Society in Toronto. We served tea to all the participants - both survivors and volunteers - and even had an opportunity to answer some questions from eager students of tea. It was a thrill and we will be attending two Relay for Life events (also run by the Canadian Cancer Society) in June. For more information on this fundraising initiative please visit the CCS website: Relay for Life (Toronto)
On May 3rd at Wilket Creek (Sunnybrook Park, Toronto), Innofarmer Tea will be waking up early to serve tea to organizers and runners who will be taking part in the 9th Annual Spring Into Action for Diabetes. This fundraiser, organized by a team of volunteers from InsideOut Studios in Toronto, will see participants take to the paths running or walking either 2km, 5km or 10km to help raise funds for Diabetes Research and Awareness. Once again, Innofarmer Tea will be in attendance serving up healthy, refreshing and quality Artisan Teas from Taiwan. Learn about the benefits of tea and the beneficial effects it has on diabetes. You can find out more about this event by clicking on the following link: Spring Into Action
Organizations and Associations aren't the only groups that Innofarmer Tea seeks help with raising of funds and awareness. In the past we have helped to sponsor and perform Tea Workshops. We also seeks to assist individuals or groups in their quest to complete enduring tasks that require strenuous effort, days or months on the road or trails, and projects that place health and the environment at the forefront of their mission.
In the coming weeks and months, Innofarmer Tea will be announcing several initiatives that have been incubating in our Sponsorship and Fundraising Department! If you are seeking sponsorship either through financing initiatives or through the use of complimentary tea, please send us an email through our Contact Us page with your Name, Country of Residence, Idea to Make a Difference and the Why? behind your desire to give! We will promptly return your email within days of receipt.
Rubbing my eyes and slowly getting out of bed, the alarm going off in the background, it is 4 a.m. and time to get out of bed. My wife, Sunshine, and I are packed and ready to head east to the City of Ottawa (also known as the Capital City of Canada) for the 2014 Travel & Vacation Show. As representatives of Taiwan and the Tourism Bureau (New York) we are setting out on a two-day adventure that will have us talking about and sharing our many experiences while living in Taiwan.
While living and exploring the unique landscapes of Taiwan, I would regularly wake up long before the sun welcomed the new day. Whether I straddled my bicycle or motorized scooter, or took to the highways and hills in my car, waking up and hitting the road before dawn was always a favorite past time of mine. With the sun just peeking over the mountains it was always an easy task to find a breakfast shop brimming with customers looking for their early morning nourishment. While tea wasn't necessarily on their minds, a wide selection of breakfast snacks could easily be found at any one of the many breakfast shops that dotted the cities and townships.
We arrived at the show (in Ottawa) shortly before the opening bell. With a little help from Sunshine and a fresh kettle of boiling water awaiting my retrieval, we were ready for the first steep of the day. In short order the first few arrivals at the show in stopped by for a sampling of tea and a few stories about life on Isla Formosa. The day could not have gone any smoother - even with our incredibly early start and non-stop steeping and talking until 5 p.m. that night. Many new friends from the City of Ottawa and the surrounding areas had so many questions and queries that covered topics from big cities to hiking to food and culture and so on. Answering each and every question brought me back to so many of the wonderful experiences I enjoyed for the first time after arriving in Taiwan.
Friends from Far and Wide
The thrill and excitement of attending these shows is very difficult to explain. The family of Taiwan representatives that flew up from the New York Branch of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau - Thomas and Rachel - and others from Ottawa and Toronto made this event worthwhile attending. Their support and teamwork helped to make this event - the second one for my wife and I - very special. In addition, a brief and inspiring visit from the Ambassador of Taiwan, Liu Chih-Kung, made the rest of the day and the following Sunday a weekend to remember.
It's Sunday evening, 5 p.m. Time to pack up our tea-making equipment, a few pineapple cakes and head home. What a busy and chaotic weekend; what a fun time we had! I think back to those April weekends that saw myself along with several friends head down to the southern tip of Taiwan for long holiday weekends filled with music, friendships and lots of laughter. Yep...Spring Scream! Ever year on the first weekend of April, Taiwan music and art lovers head south to soak up the warm sun, take a dip in the beautiful ocean and enjoy musical acts that number in the dozens. Well, Ottawa doesn't quite hold the same allure and attraction of Kenting, Taiwan. However, it was on this ride home that Sunshine and I could look back on with the knowledge that we introduced Taiwan and Taiwan tea to a crowd of Ottawatonians that will surely steep on again and again...and again!
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”