Howard Schultz shares a message with Starbucks partners following the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas.
My heart is heavy for Uvalde today. I know many of us are deeply saddened, outraged and confused, and we are all thinking of the families and communities impacted by this senseless tragedy.
To be honest, we have been here too many times before, grieving as a nation. Just ten days ago, a gunman opened fire in a Buffalo grocery store, targeting African Americans and killing 10 people. The next day, a man shot at Asian American seniors at a church in Laguna Woods, CA. And it is not lost on me that today marks the two-year anniversary of the senseless murder of George Floyd.
I want to first share that our partners in Uvalde have our full support. We have one store near Robb Elementary School, and I am grateful that our partners are safe. That said, I know this tragedy, like the one in Buffalo, hit close for partners with friends and family in the community. I heard yesterday that our Uvalde partners, even in the face of unimaginable pain, came together to close the store to serve first responders and families, while bringing water and food to nearby hospitals. In Buffalo, our partners came together to provide coffee at a memorial for the victims and volunteered at nearby food banks. To the partners who step up in these moments – thank you. Your generosity and care inspire us all to choose love, over hatred, in times like these. I am so proud to be your partner.
As a company, we are taking this time to hear from partners, learn from experts, and examine additional steps we can take. We are already exploring donations and support for victims and their families in Uvalde, Buffalo and Laguna Woods. And as we all support one another, we urge lawmakers to come together, in a bipartisan way, to address issues around gun and community safety. We also encourage partners to use their own voice – write or call your elected officials and make a plan to vote in your upcoming elections. We will also continue to prioritize de-escalation and active shooter trainings for partners. I want to also remind you about benefits like Lyra – I have heard from many partners that having someone to talk to in the aftermath of these traumatic events can be helpful.
I know there is always more we can do, as a company and as individuals. I want to hear your ideas. We will host a Partner Open Forum tomorrow to share how we are feeling and continue this conversation. I have included a list of additional resources below.
We must continue to stand together to rise above hatred, indifference, and cowardice. And as we do, please know you have the support of your fellow partners as you search to comprehend this senseless violence. I also know that in times like these, this community of Starbucks partners finds ways to lift one another up, to be a safe space for sharing, to come together in unity. Please take care of one another, and know that together, we will always choose love.
Resources for Partners
- Donate to the Uvalde Strong Fund for victims and their families – partners can donate via the Community Champion Portal where you can easily request your qualified donation be matched by Starbucks, or donate directly via the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country.
- Donate blood – partners can help provide lifesaving care and support our nation’s available blood supply in responding to emergency situations. Search for a local blood drive at: https://redcrossblood.org/give.
- Lyra, online or at (844) 643-1263, to find mental health care resources and connect with a counselor. Explore our additional partner benefits too.
- Starbucks Partners Vote
- Contact your local senators
- Partner Networks are a safe space for partner support, care, and connection
- Talking to Children About Tragedies & Other News Events by healthychildren.org
- Explaining the News to our Kids by Common Sense Media
- Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers by National Association of School Psychologists