We’ve all been there, and most of the time, we’re there a lot. It’s morning, we’re tired, we’re barely functioning and walking up right until—until we smell it. The sweet, sweet aroma of brewing coffee and hot tea, the sound of the blender, the sight of the fluffy whipped cream clouds, fruit and bakery treats galore can only mean one thing: you’re at Starbucks – the cure for the Monday’s, and the rest of the week too, helper of the late night student, of the rushed parents and the intern sent to get 1,000 coffees in the morning. Located in the beautiful Miss A city of Seattle, the Starbucks headquarters must be the easiest place to wake up for work ever, but even though some employees might get off to a sleepy start, the company never tires of giving back to their communities in a big way.
As part of the Starbucks credo, every community that houses a Starbucks, and really, can you think of one that doesn’t, will be taken care of through a variety of humanitarian efforts and community services. So dedicated are they in serving their communities that they have an entire website dedicated to community service efforts alone, which logs how many hours of community service by team members have been logged as well as listing upcoming events. They even have a Twitter and a personalized hashtag, #extrashotofgood, where volunteers can join in and find service projects near them. The corporation also campaigned to put America back to work. In their stores, patrons could pick up a signature bracelet, the entire purchase of which would go to the Opportunity Finance Network, a large collaboration between large corporations who are dedicated to improving the welfare and employment of those in low-income communities. Starbucks also supports (RED), a large non-profit effort to free the world of HIV and AIDS in Africa, where a large amount of their coffee is grown. Patrons need only purchase and use the Starbucks (RED) Card to donate money towards medicine needed for HIV and AIDS patients, the cost of which only amounts to $.40 a day, a fee that those suffering can not afford.
It’s wonderful how much the corporation does for the community and the world at large, but even more than just planting gardens, fixing homes, donating food and providing the means for medical care, Starbucks is determined to head off the need for these services by putting a huge amount of effort into the educational systems worldwide. The Starbucks Foundation has been supporting literacy programs in the U.S. and Canada since 1997 and have since gone global in their effort to better the education children receive. In 2012 alone, the foundation donated $13.8 million, gave grants to over 400 non-profits and invested a significant amount into the Starbucks Youth Leadership non-profit, the aim of which is to give the youth of today the tools, knowledge and education they need to become leaders and active citizens in their communities and in the world. The foundation is also dedicated to preserving and improving the countries and communities from which the corporation gets it’s coffees, teas, cocoas and other ingredients that supply their stores. The charity provides educational support for it’s workers and the children in the country, as well as advocating projects for health, clean water and conservation.
Can you smell your morning latte yet? Even if you can’t, the next time you wait groggily in line for your favorite morning pick-me-up, wake up with a happy thought. The coffee you chose came from a country supported by the coffee shop that also helps to improve your own community and they’ve done it all since the first sip. Come back next week to find out which corporations in Miss A cities are making philanthropy their main business.