Whether they’re dreaming of a “Tall Latte” or walking in a “Coffee Wonderland," the Starbucks Chorus has lifted their voices in the spirit of giving for nearly 20 years.
The Starbucks Chorus began with a handful of partners (employees) who wanted to give back to the Seattle community. Since 1996, the group has performed classic holiday carols at the annual Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition fundraiser. The event benefits Seattle's Pike Place Market Senior Center and Food Bank. For the 13th consecutive year, the Starbucks Chorus has one the "Figlathropy Award" donating $32,000 to the senior center. To date, the chorus has raised nearly $400,000.
The money raised from the Starbucks Chorus has provides a hot lunch each day for some of Seattle’s most needy seniors. For the past two years, the Senior Center has been able to add a daily breakfast service thanks to donations from Starbucks Chorus members and supporters.
The Starbucks Chorus is made up of 40 partners who work in the company's Seattle headquarters and share a passion for music, caroling and raising money to benefit the community.
James Hing, an eight-year partner and manager in Starbucks Supplier Diversity program, directs the Starbucks Chorus. Hing is trained as a classical pianist and has been involved in church and community choir groups in various parts of the world - some comprised of 300 people.
“Music is such a powerful unifier. It can have great meaning to whoever is hearing it,” said Hing. “I’ve always found that singing really resonates with people."
"When our audiences hear the Starbucks words for the first time, their reactions are priceless," Hing said.
During the holiday season, the Starbucks Chorus performs several times a week, spreading holiday cheer for local Seattle events and holiday gatherings.
“What we do through the Starbucks Chorus really highlights our mission and values as a company – getting together, caring for our communities and creating experiences that can make somebody’s day,” said Hing. “While we have previously only performed at Christmas, we are looking to extend this all year round.”
This holiday season, celebrate with the Starbucks Chorus as they ignite the warmth and spirit of the season – and share the merry by spreading Starbucks holiday cheer with friends and family of social media using the #sharethemerry hashtag.