A letter to local Seattle partners (employees) from Camille Hymes, vice president of community impact at Starbucks
Hello Champions of Community,
From our start as a single store at the Pike Place Market 50 years ago, our aspiration has always been to be a different kind of company. A company that looks for opportunities to bring people together for conversation and connection, making a positive impact in the communities we serve.
Today is a proud moment for our hometown partners and ice hockey fans across the country as Starbucks and the Seattle Kraken, a new professional ice hockey expansion team, announce a multi-year partnership to celebrate and strengthen the Seattle community. This partnership will focus on building community and advancing equity in Seattle – amplifying Starbucks existing investments and partnerships in the Seattle community and the Kraken’s ongoing efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion.
When we learned of this unique opportunity to engage in a partnership with the Kraken organization, the first question we asked ourselves was, “Will this partnership make our partners proud?” And after learning that the ethos of the organization is to promote a more equitable society, a healthier planet and a world where people can realize a brighter future, the answer was a resounding “YES”!
I want to reiterate to you that this is about more than ice hockey; it’s about supporting communities and our hometown. Together, Starbucks and the Kraken are committed to serving the Seattle community via the newly named Kraken Community Iceplex. It will serve as a space to support the Northgate community – one of Seattle’s most diverse neighborhoods – bringing people together and fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging through community programming and of course, ice hockey.
And, inside the Kraken Community Iceplex, we will open our 21st Starbucks Community Store where a percentage of store profits will support the Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena’s One Roof Foundation and local nonprofit organizations with a focus on youth homelessness, environmental justice and providing access and opportunities in youth ice hockey. It is set to open with Kraken Community Iceplex this September.
Even more, as one of the Community Impact Partners of the Seattle Kraken, Starbucks will:
- Help address the critical needs of access to resources and opportunity for young people — particularly girls and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) youth – through key investments and programming with the One Roof Foundation, and local organizations like Black Girl Hockey Club, YouthCare, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Washington Wild, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting girls’ ice hockey.
- Create opportunities for partners to join the Kraken in community service and engagement opportunities
- Establish an on-going Puck Drop Grant, awarding an initial $50,000 grant to YouthCare to support their work to end youth homelessness in Seattle.
- Develop a program that invites one hundred community members to every Kraken game at Climate Pledge Arena as a way to celebrate and recognize local nonprofits, first responders, educators and other community heroes.
And partners, this is just the beginning of the incredible community impact we know we can have in partnership with the Kraken.
There is an old African proverb I am reminded of, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” In this partnership, we will further amplify our community efforts and there is no limit to how far we can go.