‘What are you doing for others?’: Starbucks partners honor Dr. King’s call for service

By Starbucks Newsroom

On the crisp, sunny Martin Luther King Jr. Day morning, Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and chief executive officer, recalled the words of the great civil rights leader.

“In 1957, Dr. King commented, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’,” Johnson told a crowd of hundreds gathered at the Bellwood Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club in Atlanta.

One way Starbucks partners and customers are answering that question is by spending Martin Luther King Jr. Day volunteering at more than 150 service projects across the country.

They painted community centers, packed food for the hungry, sorted and cleaned shoes to be given to those in need, put together care packs for those without homes and much more “in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King and what he stood for and in celebration of the values that Starbucks stands for,” said Johnson.

In Atlanta, hundreds spent the day working alongside military veterans volunteering with Starbucks’ national partner The Mission Continues to renovate the Bellwood Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. Joining Johnson at the kick-off event were Roz Brewer, chief operating officer at Starbucks, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. 

As Brewer looked out across the crowd, she said, “I’m pleased to see that many of you brought your families with you. When you start them out young, they keep going. That’s what this is all about – and about transferring it on and on and on because the work never stops.”

In closing, Bottoms added, “This is what today is all about – it’s about partnership, it’s about fellowship and it’s about reaching beyond ourselves.”

See below for photos from various Starbucks service projects around the country.

MLK Day of Service

Atlanta, Georgia: Roz Brewer, chief operating officer at Starbucks, joined volunteers from The Mission Continues and Starbucks to help paint and refresh Bellwood Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. (Photo by Chris Hamilton for Starbucks Newsroom)

MLK Day of ServiceNew York City: Volunteers spent the day beautifying P.S. 171, an elementary and middle school in East Harlem. (Photo by Ryan Christopher Jones for Starbucks Newsroom)

MLK Day of ServiceGary, Indiana: Volunteers work at Veterans Life Changing Services. (Photo by Joshua Lott for Starbucks Newsroom)

thumbnail for 2022 Starbucks summer highlights

2022 Starbucks summer highlights