The ‘most wonderful time of the year’ can also be the most difficult time of the year for families in need.
Starbucks partners (employees) step in to help by organizing community service projects during the holidays. From collecting and distributing food to families to leading toy drives and packing gift boxes for military service members, the efforts are a reflection of the volunteer work partners worldwide do throughout the year.
“When partners get out of the store and volunteer their time with people in the community, it builds wonderful relationships,” said Bobi Jo Warner, a Starbucks store manager in Canada who has been with the company for 15 years.
Warner and her cousin Tara McCormick, who is also a Starbucks store manager in Edmonton, Alberta, volunteer with Little Warriors. The charitable organization is committed to the awareness, prevention and treatment of children who’ve been sexually abused.
Starbucks partners helped renovate a building at the charity’s Be Brave Ranch which supports children between the ages of eight and 12 through counseling and activities such as music and expressive art therapies.
“The renovation project is so close to my heart and I wanted to be part of it,” said McCormick. “It was one women’s dream to make sure the pain that these children go through doesn’t stop them from living their lives. It’s a healing place, a safe place for the children.”
The motivation to start Little Warriors seven years ago was personal for Glori Meldrum. Nearly 24 years after being sexually abused, the entrepreneur and owner of an advertising agency founded the long-term treatment center for children.
Meldrum intends to raise $2.5 million in the coming year to fund the specialized counseling which can cost almost $25,000 for each child. Currently, the program supports 70 children and their families.
“This journey is about love and I have seen so many miracles along the way,” Meldrum said. “We are so grateful for all the help the Little Warriors receive from Starbucks partners who volunteer and spend so many hours helping our children and families."
Starbucks partners, tell us about a volunteer project in your community and send photos to [email protected]