Ben Higgins Brings *Humanity & Hope United* And *Generous Coffee* To UCLA

Former Bachelor star Ben Higgins came to UCLA on May 4th to speak about Humanity & Hope United (H&H) and Generous Coffee. As a guest speaker, he spoke about the importance of nonprofit, volunteer work, as well as philanthropy. It was all about rethinking generosity. Her Campus had the opportunity to attend this event, hosted by UCLA student Sofia Decio.  

Eight years ago, Riley Fuller started the nonprofit Humanity and Hope United Foundation which works for community development. Unlike other organizations, H&H strives to help communities become sustainable. Today, the three communities under the care of this nonprofit have operating businesses, infrastructure, access to education, jobs, and leadership training. With Fuller as President and Higgins as Board Member, these close friends are working to create positive change. “Above all, our story has taught us that love is the key ingredient to sustainable change. That means we work as a family, we listen to each other, we have patience with each other, we look for the best in each other, and we never give up on each other.” 

Generous was founded by Higgins and Fuller, to generate and donate profits to H&H and other organizations that are fighting injustices. Generous creates different products such as Generous Coffee, that are created by those living in poverty. Each product has a story behind it. For example, the T-shirts sold by Generous are made by single mothers and orphans in Haiti using plastic bottles. Not only are the mothers and orphans compensated for their work, but the company gives them benefits, healthcare, and a good environment to work in. People across the nation who buy Generous products are simply buying items that they use in their day-to-day lives. By purchasing these products, they are changing the game and improving the standards for so many people living in poverty. As stated on their website, “Each Generous product is designed specifically to create and multiply good in the world. Whether jobs for women or education for young ones, we start with giving back.” 

When asked for tips about starting a nonprofit organization, Higgins admitted that the nonprofit world is difficult. He emphasized the importance in feeling passionate for the cause you are involved in. He asked the audience the questions, “What are you passionate for? What is your heart torn for?” Additionally, he advised surrounding yourself with a good team, to divide the responsibilities of fundraising, legalization, support, partnership, etc. Team is key!! Ben stated that the hardest dilemma the organization faces is, “How do we stay generous with everything we do when our margins are already cut really short?”

Higgins stated, “There is no more joy in my life for when I was living in a life of luxury, while being involved in The Bachelor, versus one of simplicity.” Higgins explained that he is just as happy and fulfilled because his worth does not come from monetary gain or what he has done. Worth comes from whatever he’s passionate about, what he believes in, and what he desires to pursue. In terms of getting involved, the audience was given a simple slogan: “give, go, buy, and share.” One could do this by giving time to fundraise, going on a trip to Honduras to visit the people there, purchasing Generous products, and/or sharing the message of volunteer work. 

Higgins concluded his talk by reminding students about the importance of getting involved in volunteer work. As he stood on stage, he encouraged students to take advantage of their time at UCLA and pursue what they’re passionate about. “Think for a second about what you want to pursue. We need you. We need your impact, we need your brains and your skill sets. We need your bodies active in fighting injustice in the world. It is important and imperative because we have the opportunity to make change. You’re about to leave this safe haven and enter into this world. And this world needs you.” 

Thank you for taking the time to speak at UCLA! We wish you the very best in your future endeavors!!  

Support H&H here and shop Generous here. And make sure to check out their Instagram accounts!