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Community Service

60,000 Volunteers, 30 Countries, 30 Days

The Results Are In! One act of kindness can make a world of difference. In April 2011, nearly 60,000 Starbucks partners (employees), customers, community members and nonprofit organizations from across 30 countries on four continents joined together in their local neighborhoods to be a catalyst for change and make a positive impact in people’s lives.

From gardening and painting projects, to building irrigation and rubbish management systems, to refurbishing schools and renovating parks, these passionate volunteers transformed communities in need and helped spark a sense of pride and ownership in all those involved.

Education was an important component of this service and how it will be maintained over time. For example, volunteers in Shanghai helped educate residents on leading environmentally conscious lifestyles. In London, young people engaged in leadership training to help empower them to be change makers in their hometowns across the United Kingdom.

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Shanghai: Community Helps Transform Gumei

Starbucks Global Month of Service project in Shanghai

As part of our Shanghai Leadership Conference, more than 650 Starbucks partners (employees) from across China participated in our Global Month of Service in the Gumei community of Shanghai’s Minhang District. The partners were joined in their efforts by 100 members of the community. Starbucks partnered with Charyou to identify the service projects for the Shanghai event. Starbucks and Charyou have also produced community events in four other Chinese cities including Shenzhen, Chengdu, Beijing and Guangzhou.

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Vancouver: Making a Difference in People’s Lives

Starbucks Month of Service event in Vancouver, British Columbia

On Saturday, April 30, more than 350 Starbucks partners and neighbors in Vancouver, British Columbia, worked hand-in-hand to revitalize the Strathcona Community Centre. It was a day of inspiration, action and celebration – all demonstrating the power of people coming together for good.

Volunteers renovated gardens, including the Centre’s “Sunshine Patch” – see the before and after photos! They also created an education area, painted a mural and built secure storage solutions.

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Seattle: 700 Neighbors Spruced Up Schools and Parks

Seattle Month of Service community event

For the final event of the Starbucks Global Month of Service, partners and community members from Seattle and surrounding communities joined together to benefit the Mount Baker neighborhood. The rain stayed away and some sun came through, helping to fuel the excitement of the volunteers.

Through the help of over 700 partners, customers and community members, projects were completed at John Muir Elementary School, Franklin High School, Cheasty Greenspace, Mount Baker Park and Estelle Street P-Patch.

Were you there? Tell us your favorite part!

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The Front Porch of Our Community

Auburn Store Manager Kara R.

I once heard that the definition of “community” in the 1950s was sitting on your porch swing, sipping pink lemonade and waving at neighbors as they passed by. I know now that Starbucks also serves as a front porch and our stores are part of a community where people come to congregate, to mingle, to get involved!

Since high school, I’ve been passionate about my community and giving back to those who are in need – whether it was to restore trails or raise money doing charity events. When I came to work at Starbucks 13 years ago, I was excited to find a company that shared my passion for the community and I’ve been inspired to do more.

Starbucks has enabled me to work with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, where I watched a mother help build a house for her family that was still living in Kenya. I experienced the emotions of young single mothers who received a safe and clean place to live through Vine Maple Place, an organization much like Habitat.

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New York: Lending a Hand in the Harlem Community

Despite gray skies and ongoing rain, there was great enthusiasm among the 500+ Starbucks partners, customers, community members and local organizations. Service projects took place within a 20 block radius and helped transform parts of the West Harlem and Morningside Heights neighborhoods.

Projects included: planting and beautifying Morningside Park, packing kits and creating cards at Harlem Children’s Zone, revitalizing school grounds at the Hugo Newman College Preparatory School, installing a student mural with the Abyssinian Development Corporation’s (ADC) Youth Build, painting and creating murals at the transitional family center, The Abby House, and hosting a social gathering for seniors at the ADC’s Abyssinian Tower.

Were you at this event? Tell us your favorite part!

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Los Angeles: Crenshaw High School Revitalized

Los Angeles Month of Service Event

At our Los Angeles event on April 9 for the Global Month of Service, more than 600 Starbucks partners (employees) and customers engaged in meaningful projects. During this event, Starbucks volunteers revitalized three school campuses to help create a better learning environment for thousands of students.

The great work we accomplished at Crenshaw High School included painting murals with the school mascot, landscaping the campus grounds by pulling invasive plants, and repainting columns and walls to help improve the campus.

Were you at this event? Tell us your favorite part!

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Youth: A Powerful Renewable Resource

Joshua founded Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.) in 2006. Its goal: to translate sustainability education into local action that is practical, effective and fun. G.A.L.A. received a Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ Youth Action Grant in 2010 through the International Youth Foundation to engage youth “Sustain-A-Raisers” to help families in New Hampshire pursue more sustainable lifestyles.

There is a powerful renewable resource right under our noses that gets little attention these days compared to the familiar icons of solar panels and wind turbines.

It’s people. Especially young people.

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Starbucks Youth Action Kicks Off in London

Global Month of Service UK Project

On April 5, Starbucks UK and Ireland launched a three-year partnership with UK Youth. Over 300 enthusiastic partners (employees) from across the United Kindgom and Ireland came to London to join 150 young people and participate in community service projects in Westminster, Waterloo and Pimlico. Altogether, we contributed more than 1,200 hours to our goal of 200,000 during the Global Month of Service.

This project kicked off Starbucks Youth Action here – a youth development program designed to inspire, equip and empower young people to bring community projects to life in their local areas.

Were you at this event? Tell us your favorite part.

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Moments of Connection in Community Service

Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light Institute and Co-Founder of HandsOn Network

In our work with the people of Starbucks, we’ve experienced your commitment to community service. But there is one thing that has convinced me that we were meant to work together – and that is our shared devotion to creating moments of connection. It is those moments of connection with other people that make us smile, bring much-needed comfort, feed our optimism and inspire us to pass the good feeling along to someone else.

At our recent Tribute to President George H. W. Bush, I had the privilege of sharing the stage with four former presidents and inspiring individuals who have devoted their lives to creating change. In meeting them and hearing their stories, a common thread emerged – they simply saw a need and wanted to help.

Service is grounded in moments of connection. These are the connections we make with the strangers we seek to help, the friends and colleagues we work with and the individuals who come forward to share how their lives have been made better that keep us engaged.


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