Starbucks stores in Memphis were recently selected to participate in an exciting program called Donors Choose. This program is a fabulous way to promote community involvement. It was made possible by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
To kick off the program, each of us was given a $10 gift card. Then we went to the Donors Choose website and selected projects to donate our gift cards to. The projects were posted by Memphis public school teachers; by donating a gift card to a project, we helped a classroom get needed books and technology.
Our store was also given a $100 gift card to contribute. We chose a project called “Yes Wii Can!” for a school less than 5 miles from our store. Our gift helped provide a Nintendo Wii to the school’s special education program so that its students could participate in physical education. At my store, we’re really into health and wellness, so this was an exciting opportunity for us. The teacher told us that we were enabling her students “to go places that their bodies would not take them.” What a great thing to be able to do for someone!
After redeeming our cards, we got to distribute $10 gift cards to customers. We had an amazing response to this. After people heard what we were doing, we started receiving several phone calls a day wanting to know if we had more cards to distribute. We even received a “thank you” note from a teacher who was able to fund his project by the cards received from our store!
When we first received the cards for our stores, there were 181 projects in the Memphis City Schools system waiting for funding. As the week ended, I checked the Donors Choose website again and saw that more than one-third of the projects listed had been completed. Donors Choose empowered us to help our community.
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