While I was on the road for the past month, there was no news story from the coffee world that caught my attention more than the tragic fire at SafeHouse Coffee in Griffin, GA. Thankfully no one was injured, but the business was left destroyed.

More than just a coffee shop and micro-roaster, SafeHouse is a nonprofit community outreach center that helps those recovering from the ravages of addiction re-enter the workforce with new skills and a newfound love of specialty coffee. Founders Hunt & Amanda Slade are infectiously positive people that, unlike most of us, have inspirationally dedicated their lives and business to helping others and making the world a better place. In an industry known for a amazing number of selfless caring humanitarians, environmentalists and other philanthropists, Hunt & Amanda are easily recognized as standouts.

In the past two weeks, I’m proud to say that coffee people around the globe have rallied in support of SafeHouse, donating equipment and supplies, coffee, man hours and cash to get the operation up and running again. Most recently, 2011 UK Barista Champion John Gordon announced a fundraiser will be held on February 29th at Prufrock Coffee, supported by a virtual who’s who of the London specialty coffee scene.

Donations can also be made to SafeHouse online, so I urge that if you have not already done so, please contribute what you can to help these good people continue their good work.