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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Opinion

Starbucks’ care package to veterans includes donations, jobs


To those who have sworn off mega-corporations in favor of their trendier, independent counterparts, you might want to start breaking out of your mold by getting your caffeine fix from the world’s most popular coffee chain.

After all, it is about time to come clean and admit that it’s become cool to be philanthropic nowadays and lame to be associated with anything resembling the mainstream. It’s OK — we can admit this to ourselves. I’ve been right there with you. You and I were both tempted to buy a Kony 2012 action kit.

On a more unexpected note for today’s trendy philanthropic efforts, the mega-corporation Starbucks might just be the corporation that’s doing the most for those in need today, and in a refreshingly tangible way.

Starbucks plans to hire at least 10,000 veterans and spouses of active-duty military within the next five years across its nearly 21,000 U.S. locations, according to CNN.

This is definitely a fight worth fighting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 9.9 percent of veterans were unemployed in 2012. Failure to take care of those who have taken care of us just isn’t the American way, and finding that one in 10 of our veterans is not being taken care of certainly isn’t news we should grow accustomed to hearing.

Yahoo! News reported that five “new and existing” Starbucks locations either on or near U.S. military bases will share a portion of their sales with non-profit organizations dedicated to helping veterans enter the workforce.

The five locations will each donate 10 cents per transaction to Operation Good Jobs and Vested in Vets, which are located in San Antonio and Lakewood, Wash., respectively.

First and foremost, this is the kind of news that makes one swear off any sort of hexes they may have cast across all humanity. Starbucks didn’t host some sort of elaborate press conference to release the news, and the company hasn’t been shamelessly publicizing their efforts around their stores in an effort to hop on that trendy, philanthropic bandwagon.

They simply seem content with doing something good, and that’s something all-too-rarely heard of nowadays.

In an even more admirable development of this already phenomenal news, it seems that Starbucks doesn’t just plan on filling 10,000 minimum-wage positions over the next five years. Rather, the company hopes to find veterans who can lead teams, direct organization and manage “complex global supply chains.”

“This demographic represents one of the most under-utilized talent pools in our country,” said former U.S. Defense Secretary and current member of the Starbucks board of directors Robert Gates. “They bring an understanding of other cultures and they’re accustomed to working with diverse and international partners.”

Whatever the motivation behind this new policy, this is one of today’s rarer forms of news — the kind you can get excited about and the kind that doesn’t make the rest of your day clouded by the fact that all of humanity has gone to hell.

It’s the kind of news we could certainly get used to hearing, to say the least.

However, in my book, it’s still 100 percent OK to ostracize Starbucks for their cup sizes. I’m all for helping our nation’s finest, but seriously, Starbucks — just call it a large.

Senior staff columnist Cara Smith is a communications junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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