Starbucks is proud to support Canadian veterans, currently serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and military families and honour the commitment and sacrifices they have made for our country.
In collaboration with the Royal Canadian Legion, last year, the company introduced cashless donations in its stores and through its app to offer a safe and convenient way for Canadians to support veterans and their families across the country.
From October 29 to November 11, cashless donations are back and customers can donate to the Poppy Fund at the cafe register (no purchase required), through Starbucks donation page on MyPoppy.ca, or through the link in the Starbucks app. Customers who donate in store will receive a poppy, while online donors will receive a digital poppy that they can dedicate in memory of a veteran, download and share.
In addition, on November 11, veterans, currently serving Canadian Armed Forces members or military spouses who visit participating Starbucks stores will be treated with a free tall (354 ml) hot brewed coffee at Starbucks*.
Coffee with a Vet Program Goes Virtual
In 2016, Starbucks launched its Coffee with a Vet program in collaboration with the True Patriot Love Foundation (TPL), a national charity supporting military families, and Treble Victor (3V), an organization that helps ex-military leaders achieve their full potential in the marketplace.
Jen, a CAF veteran and now Starbucks partner, believes her time in the military offered her invaluable skills and experience that she’s been able to leverage as she’s entered the civilian workforce.
“Aside from all the Medical Technician training, being in the military taught me not only how to be a follower, but also how to be an effective leader,” says Jen. “It taught me how to problem solve and the importance of teamwork when solving a problem. It taught me I was stronger, both physically and mentally, than I ever thought I was.”
The Coffee with a Vet program helps military veterans learn how their military skills can translate into civilian jobs. They also receive contacts that could lead to help facilitate their job search and support services to help with the transition.
Coffee with a Vet, returned this week in a virtual format, making it possible for more veterans across the country to take part in networking, mentoring, and panel discussions over coffee to support them in their reintegration process.
Veterans interested in learning more about this program can do so here.
Supporting our partners and military communities
As the spouse of a Canadian Armed Forces veteran, and mother of a currently serving member, Starbucks store manager, Kelly, understands first-hand the unique needs of partners (employees) who have a loved one in the Armed Forces. “When moving around it can be hard to insert yourself into a new job, not knowing people can be very intimidating. Starbucks is great for veterans and their families because we are a company that supports our partners, is extremely welcoming and adaptable, which is very important in military life”, says Kelly.
Kelly’s store is located near a large military base, where the majority of partners (employees) and customers visiting the store are affiliated with the military as either veterans, currently serving, or family members.
For partners like Jen, who work at the store, drawing on her military experience to support other partners comes as second nature. “Having been in the military and being a military spouse has allowed me to pass on knowledge and perspective to our partners that are new military spouses or just new to the military culture”, says Jen. “Being a Medical Technician gave me experience with mental health patients and I brought that experience with me to our Starbucks store. I know the challenges and frustrations that come with being a military spouse and I also know, first-hand, the duties and obligations their spouses have as members of the military.”
Remembrance Day undoubtedly holds a special place in the hearts of many throughout the tightknit community. For Kelly, honouring those who have served is a year-round focus. “I want my store to be known for having the upmost respect for our community and that we value those who serve and served”, she says.
For Jen, the day is a somber reminder of days passed. “I get very emotional on Remembrance Day,” she says, as she reflects on what the day means to her. “I am a part of a military family; my father is a veteran and my brother is a serving member who has completed two tours in Afghanistan. During my time in the military, I have experienced the loss of friends being killed in action or who suffered from PTSD. Remembrance Day to me is a day to reminisce and a day to raise a glass to friends who are no longer with us. “
*Offer valid on café and drive thru orders only . Limit one per customer.