Starbucks partners are helping to raise money for a library in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia Reads is a non-profit organization with the goal of creating a reading culture for children in Ethiopia. They build libraries, and help bring books to children. They sound like a perfect organization for Starbucks to partner with! Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, and getting children into reading is always a great goal! Wouldn’t it be great to see them featured on the Starbucks Digital Network?
A Starbucks partner in Texas wrote to me recently and said that Starbucks partners in her local area were working with Ethiopia Reads to raise $10,000 to build a library. Here’s what she wrote:
“I wanted to find out if you can help spread the message of our a silent auction that we are hosting in an effort to raise $10,000 so that we can build a library in Ethiopia! Ethiopia is the “birthlace of coffee” and this is a great way for us to give back. ‘Ethiopia Reads’,a 501c nonprofit organization, set up a Starbucks fundraising page set up to help us reach our goal. A donation as little as $2 can help support our literacy cause! “
Part of the fund raising is coming from a silent auction, and of course some donations come directly through the “donate now” link on the EthiopiaReads/Starbucks page:
I definitely think this is a very cool partnership, and I’d like to help spread the word. I don’t know if there are any Starbucks matching funds for partner donations, but whether you’re a partner or a customer, if you can make a donation, I hope you will do so. I made a small donation. I realize that not everyone can give, but I must have at least a few readers who can.
So I just wanted shine a spotlight on some good things that partners are doing, and hope that Starbucks will find a way to grow their relationship with this non-profit.
Consider this, by the way, as your most recent episode of “From the StarbucksMelody.com mailbag.”
Children born in Ethiopia are poorer than children born in the US. They’re not running around with ipad2 in hand, and downloading books from Kindle. Starbucks always does many many things to help out the US, in many many many ways. Volunteer service, money donations, you name it. We’re global citizens, and not a third world country. I feel we should have the heart to care about where our coffee comes from. Starbucks cannot fix every single US problem. Here in Seattle, and most places, libraries are funded by government funds. We’re never going to see Starbucks fund the government – though what we have seen historically is that Starbucks has always given money to literacy programs here in the US for children. Also, keep in mind, this appears to be a motivated group of partners in Texas just trying to make a difference. I want to help people who get involved with non-profits: We are global citizens and Starbucks does good things BOTH here in the US, and in coffee growing places.
agree with purple1 here. there are PLENTY of children running around in the USA who could certainly not tell you what an “I”…anything… is, let alone have one. plenty. I do agree there are also plenty of kids (that I have seen within the Chicago Public School system) who are amazingly poor and yet still have the latest very expensive Nike’s, phones, rides etc. There is that. (they’re also the ones who are obviously NOT using the public libraries, which, sadly are decreasing in number….the libraries)
I remember clearly back in the ’90’s, sitting on the phone for long times, with Sbux, who at that time had a very strict “policy” that they would only “support” literacy and AIDs projects. (I was trying to get them to, in any way, support a 5k for breast cancer)
That policy, luckily, has changed over the yrs. but still…..
this could open up a huge discussion. I just feel that you begin at HOME….
Melody I agree that the government funds libraries, however, around here the money allocated to some libraries has been reduced in town budgets so as I said either hours or programs have to be cut. I do not have anything against nonprofits – some of them are very good and should be supported. I also agree with Denise’s comments re kids that could use money more effectively are walking around with expensive gadgets, shoes, etc.
Do you think that Starbucks is NOT giving in the United States? Or that Starbucks should ONLY create programs to help US citizens? Sounds to me like you would attack ANY thing I posted suggesting that Starbucks is helping third world countries. Starbucks is doing good everywhere – That’s one of the things that makes them amazing is that scale can be used for good. Did we forget about millions and millions of volunteer hours right here in the united states? Starbucks pouring millions into rebuilding NOLA? Donations to New York? Partnerships to benefit communities in poor neighborhoods? Sponsorship of aids walks everywhere? Money donated right and left to create parks in cities in the US? Book drives, school drives, to help children in the united states? Money donations to student music organizatons to keep musical talent alive in young people? Donation of food everynight from stores to local shelters, food banks, and meal programs. The Starbucks Foundation makes donations all over the place. Make Your Mark program? Corporate matching funds often for both monetary donations, and under Make Your Mark, even possibly partner volunteer hours? Money to fund preservation of Pike Place Market? Toy drives at Christmas to bring sick children in the US toys? Gifts of money to help classrooms? Donations of digital space to help non profits like Donors Choose?
Why bother blogging if I am alone in thinking that a small group of partners in Texas who want to make a difference in Ethiopia is a good thing? It is not like as if this is the only goodwill act Starbucks has ever done.
Melody- I know SB donates to USA causes for sure and I appreciate the fact that they do this. As you know, I supported the local food drive conducted by my local SB and its district. I have made donations to Donors Choose. And no I would not attack any comments re SB donating to third world countries. I think getting kids to read and providing books for them is an important goal and one that only makes them better people now and down the road as they become adults. I am sorry if you feel I am attacking you because I am not.
I think it’s great that Starbucks and anyone else for that matter is involved with these kinds of initiatives. Sure there are people who are less fortunate closer to home, wherever that may be, I am not saying that they should not be helped too. But it has to be said that there are some places in this global community of ours that are much much worse off, and need our help.
I don’t think it is a case of help one or the other, as Mel has pointed out, SB does run a multitude if other program’s to help in the USA.
Great idea!! I love them@ and of course Starbucks in the library. What a better addition to reading a nice book?:)
Melody: I totally agree with you. I think most in North America should take a trip to a third world country and see how priviledged we are. No offense is meant to anyone, just to clarify. But, we have it so good. Not to mention the purpose of this project was a-not Starbucks founded, some partners did this! b-to give back to the source of coffee.
@purple1 and Denise – My tone of voice was pretty upset in my last post, but I think it’s hard to ignore the gazillion donations, partner volunteer hours, and good things that Starbucks does right here at home. I am left in state of exhaustion at the idea that we cannot celebrate just the pure good thing that these partners in Texas are doing, and instead ask, ‘weren’t children in the US entitled to more from Starbucks?’ It’s not a zero sum game. I hope you’ll continue read this blog, but on this issue, I hope we can just agree to disagree.
And I really do think “Ethopia Reads” is a great idea for a larger Starbucks partnership. This blog post is just tiny local area partnership with a segment of partners in Texas working with Ethiopia Reads to bring books to kids in Ethopia.
Similarly, last year when I wrote about the Angel Wish Foundation partnership, it was a local area of Starbucks partners and stores on the East coast working with Angelwish to get presents to sick children:
Melody I absolutely agree with you that we should acknowledge partners that go out of their way to make this world better for people no question. And not for you to misunderstand I believe in global projects outside of the USA. My initial comment came from seeing in my area so many people standing up to their town councils because the library budgets are being cut and that hurts communities. I also agree that the resources we have here for people to help is quite different than the ones in places like Ethopia. Maybe SB needs to promote more partner involvement on an individual district level so customers can see what is being done. Often, there is not enough publicity re these programs and projects. Perhaps with more publicity more customers would get involved in local events and support their communities.
@Melody: I really don’t know exactly who the ” ATTACK” word was being referred to, but since there were only two of us commenting before you said that, I assume you meant my words, at least partially. but “attack”???? I thought that was harsh, but, it’s your blog.
just for the record, I don’t believe I ever said NOT to support 3rd world countries, ever, never said. I did say, as I believe, “charity begins at home”. meant nothing as an ‘attack’!
@CABraita: do you really think MOST people in North America have no idea what a third world country MIGHT be like w/out going there? I think I have a pretty good ‘idea’, and yes, I count my blessings. and I give back, the best I can.
maybe some of you were too young to see what a POPULAR cause AIDs became for some time… popular (and certainly with Sbux)…..even tho the cause, the virus had been isolated and actually now, after so many deaths so early on, generally one can live with it…at least much longer than when it was isolated (the virus) in the early ’80’s.
I don’t think either of us (purple1 or I) intended to offend anyone, anywhere. It’s just an opinion of priorities. ?
I think it’s wonderful that this group of partners has found a cause that they are passionate about and that they want to support. The fact that the cause happens to be helping people in Ethiopia where coffee is said to have originated is pretty cool too. (I wonder if these partners are coffee masters?)
I am very proud to work for a company that encourages it’s partners to go out and do good. I love the fact that it allows it’s partners to choose what kind of good they’d like to do. I have a partner in my store who has been able to take advantage of the Make Your Mark program. She volunteered for two weeks in the summer at a camp for kids with cancer, she is headed there again next weekend to volunteer and she will be submitting for another Make Your Mark for that time as well. This is something she is passionate about, and it’s wonderful that Starbucks has supported her in this. My old DM was a big supporter of an event that is run annually which raises money to build wells in Africa, so our district has had a big presence in that event as well.
I think that it’s amazing that Starbucks empowers their partners to support causes they love, and that they will help them with these causes. The fact that these partners have chosen to support a cause in Africa rather than in their own neighbourhood doesn’t mean that they never support their neighbourhood, just that in this case they are thinking globally rather than locally, which in my humble opinion is very important.
Denise thank you for the last comment. Very much appreciate it. And agree that I too did not intend to offend anyone at all.
This is such a cool thing. Thanks for sharing. Makes me miss the potential of V2V though.
I think it’s awesome that the partners are doing this!
It’s always a beautiful thing to see people helping each other. And I love that you share a various projects that Starbucks is working on. It kind of makes sense to me that the partners would choose Ethiopia, what with the coffee connection 🙂
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Ok, I have mixed feelings about this Sb partnership. I totally support getting children to read, but part of me feels that if SB wants to create partnerships then why not find a program here in the USA to support reading. There are so many public libraries that are having funding issues and are reducing hours and services.