On a rainy Saturday morning last October, Starbucks District Manager Chuck Driggers and eight of his colleagues put away their trademark green aprons in favor of tool belts to make bookshelves and paint benches during City Year’s and News10’s “Make a Difference Day” at Leataata Floyd Elementary School. Thanks in part to their hard work, students now can easily access books in the school’s library and have a colorful place to sit throughout the campus.
A 13-year employee of Starbucks, Chuck has embraced the company’s community giving philosophy. “We are constantly encouraged to work outside our store and connect with the local community,” he said, noting Starbucks’ commitment to “improving lives, developing skills and making a difference” in the neighborhoods where it serves. Since he started with the company, he has put those values to work at his stores through many service projects.
Chuck’s first community project was hosting a reading night in his Starbucks store for a local elementary school – an effort that supported the Starbucks Foundation’s literacy initiative at the time. Chuck later applied for and received a $2,500 Starbucks grant for that school to improve its library. Since then, he and his colleagues have continued their service by working with local food banks and other agencies that support people in need, including City Year.
After the Starbucks Foundation awarded City Year Sacramento its first grant two years ago for $23,000, Chuck connected with City Year staff to determine ways in which he and his team can partner on community projects. In addition to participating in Make a Difference Day, they spent a day cleaning a Sacramento park with City Year AmeriCorps members and staff. Starbucks also has generously contributed coffee and pastries for many City Year events, such as Graduation and Opening Day.
“Starbucks is an incredibly generous partner,” said Michelle Silva, business development and marketing director for City Year Sacramento. “Whether rolling up their sleeves to pick up trash and paint a bench or serving coffee, they are omnipresent at our events and we really enjoy working with them.”
City Year Sacramento received an additional $25,000 grant from the Starbucks Foundation in 2014. To date, the Starbucks Foundation and the stores Chuck manages have contributed more than $50,000 to support our work in local schools. In addition to Sacramento, Starbucks has supported City Year sites across the country, providing more than $1.3 million in philanthropic dollars over the last six years to help reduce the dropout crisis.
“Starbucks’ longstanding commitment to education, youth leadership and community service closely aligns with City Year’s mission,” said Jake Mossawir, City Year Sacramento Executive Director. “We share the same goal of empowering young people to succeed, and we look forward to continuing to build pathways to success together.”