How Starbucks Made My Birthday Great.

I just got back from the West Coast after a few days of Birthday R&R.

One of the first to wish me a “Happy Birthday,” (besides my little sister) was Starbucks. The company sent me a card for a free drink – any flavor, any size. They also sent one for a free New York Bagel. They were on a roll. Before that, I got a bit of good CSR news involving their commitment to one of my favorite communities.

As part of the company’s commitment to the communities where it does business, Starbucks announced that it will introduce a new community model in the neighborhoods of Harlem, New York and Crenshaw, Los Angeles– where community organizations will share in the profits of a store in each community. Starbucks will donate a minimum of $100,000 to each organization for the first year of the partnership as it assesses the success of the program and gathers learning in hopes of creating a new type of corporate engagement in communities, potentially providing a model for other companies to consider emulating.

In Harlem, Starbucks is partnering with the Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC) to create a, “new kind of private sector engagement with these organizations that have a proven record in creating progress for disadvantaged communities.” The location at 125th Street and Lenox Avenue is among those which will also serve as the hub of Starbucks community service and additional training programs in the area, and  provide leadership job and life skill development, positive learning environments, and overall health and wellness.

That deserves a b-day toast.

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