Grilled cheese sandwiches are helping bring water to people around the world.
FeelGood is a social enterprise at universities throughout North America that sells grilled cheese sandwiches and donates its profits to organizations including Water For People.
Kate McGann is the co-president of the University of Vermont FeelGood chapter. The approximately 50 students who volunteer at UVM staff their grilled cheese deli four days a week from 11 – 3 pm. No one gets paid for their work, but all proceeds are donated to Water For People and three other nonprofit partners.
"I heard about FeelGood when I came to UVM for my first visit my junior year of high school," shares Kate. "I was immediately interested in the student-run deli on campus, and it was the first club I knew I wanted to join."
Across FeelGood chapters, customers can choose from four grilled cheese options or they can design their own. As customers wait for their sandwiches, the FeelGood student volunteers talk about what their nonprofit partners do. There is a suggested donation per sandwich, but Kate says many people contribute extra after hearing about the work of these partners.
"People love to hear about what their donations go toward!" says Kate.
Maritza Mejia-Wilson is the Executive Director of FeelGood. She explains that FeelGood was launched in 2004 at the University of Texas in Austin. Students set up a pop-up deli and asked for donations in exchange for sandwiches, suggesting that customers donate whatever "feels good." Now, there are 25 chapters across the United States and Canada.
"For me, there is no greater place to be than working with young people who want to make the world a better place," shares Maritza.
FeelGood donates its proceeds to nonprofits focused on ending extreme poverty and believes ending the global water crisis is a big part of eradicating doing that.
"We feel confident that no other organization addresses the world water crisis with as much compassion and with as much emphasis on finding a sustainable solution as Water For People," said Maritza. "We firmly believe that students will take this message and allow it to guide their decisions for decades to come. Once you become aware of the responsibility we each carry to our global community, it is impossible to ignore!"