Death Wish Coffee Takes A Break From Roasting To Help Out Of Work Servers In Need

The COVID-19 coronavirus is a global crisis of a scale unlike anything else ever seen in the 21st century. It’s a pandemic that has affected millions of people around the world and is causing a devastating amount of economic damage too.

The scale of the problem

In the United States, there are just over one million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and one-third of those cases happen to be in New York state. At the time of writing, the state, as is most other states, is currently under lockdown.

What that means for people is they must stay at home and can only go out for essential reasons, such as getting groceries or medical assistance. It also means that non-essential businesses such as those in the service industry must shut down.

In New York state, the “New York on PAUSE” lockdown status began on March 20 and is set to continue until May 15. According to the state’s Department of Labor, the leisure and hospitality sectors are the heaviest hit in terms of job losses.

Businesses such as most retail stores, coffee shops, hair salons, tattoo parlors, and hotels are effectively banned from opening during the current lockdown in New York due to COVID-19.

How Death Wish Coffee Company is helping

Being part of the service industry themselves, the Death Wish Coffee Company decided to fundraise $75,000 to help laid-off servers in the Saratoga Springs area. They teamed up with the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce to launch the “Broke but not Busted” program.

In a nutshell, the “Broke but not Busted” program involves donating 100% of the sale proceeds of two T-shirt designs. Ranging from sizes XS to 5XL, they are available to buy in both gray and black.

The gray T-shirt features a design from a local tattoo artist, Melanie Lucia-Clarke, of Albany-based tattoo parlor The Dead Presidents Lounge. And the black T-shirt features the words “When this is all over, please continue to stay at least 6 feet away from me.”

Melanie Lucia-Clarke of The Dead Presidents Lounge said in an interview “We don’t get paid time off, sick leave, or traditional unemployment insurance. We rely solely on serving our clients and customers for our financial wellbeing.”

Mike Pilkington, Death Wish Coffee Company’s COO, said “When a member of our community is ‘broke,’ we all are – but we’re not ‘busted.’”

He adds: “New York is our home, and when Death Wish Coffee needed it most, our community stepped up and showed their support for our business in 2015 when we were in the running for a Super Bowl commercial. Now it’s our turn.”

Each T-shirt costs $25 and 100% of the sale proceeds will go directly to local servers that need help the most. You can buy the T-shirts from

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