Celebrating Community Champions this Global Month of Good

At Starbucks, all our partners (employees) who are proactively engaged in community related activities are known as Community Champions.  

This April, Community Champions around the world will come together, through service, to create a collective impact on our planet and in our communities. We call this our Global Month of Good. To celebrate, we’re shining a light on Community Champions across Canada and the charities and causes that matter most to them. 

Uplifting Our Communities

Jackie, Store Manager | Supports Foundry East Kootenay

Jackie is a Community Champion whose involvement with Foundry East Kootenay helps support youth mental health programming in British Columbia.

She appreciates the Community Champions program because it allows for greater giving within the organizations she already supports. Starbucks Canada gives a matching donation for each hour volunteered and tracked through our Community Champions portal. This means that Jackie’s volunteer efforts and impact are immediately multiplied.  

“Programs such as these ones are truly one of the ways we are a different company,” she says. “Not only can I do good in the community, but having the backing to do good is what makes me so proud to be a partner.”

Debi, Store Manager | Supports Start Me Up Niagara

Through the Community Champions program, Debi supports Start Me Up Niagara, an Ontario-based not-for-profit organization that works with individuals facing significant life challenges such as addiction, mental illness, poverty, homelessness, and unemployment.  

Debi is active and proud community member who appreciates the multitude of year-round services Start Me Up Niagara provides. “They do so much for the community, including housing, food, employment help, and they have a community garden that supports all the shelters in our community with fresh produce during the season,” she says.  

The Community Champions program is so important to her because it helps enlarge her giving, she explains. “My goal this year was to use all of the $1,000 in donation matching that Starbucks makes available for each partner as part of the program, and I reached it by end of Q2.”

“We have 33 partners in St. Catharines. I try to tell them that, if we all used half of that $1,000, that would be $16,000 in donation matching that Starbucks would help us put back in our community. Imagine the impact that could make!” 

Debi also sits with her partners during the Neighbourhood Grant nomination period, which happens bi-annually through The Starbucks Foundation.

Skyler, Store Manager | Supports Kerr Street Mission

Skyler is a Community Champion that supports Kerr Street Mission (KSM), a faith-based organization that is committed to caring for families that are struggling to make ends meet. 

 When he was younger, Skyler’s family went through hardships. He says he is thankful for those that supported his family in their time of need and supports KSM because “I feel it’s now my turn to support others.” 

The Community Champions program is important to Skyler because it highlights the very purpose of community. “Community brings people together; community inspires the human spirit,” he explains. “I’ve been able to attend more events, make my own events, meet new partners, all because of the Community Champions program.” 

Moreover, he believes being a part of the program has given him a new sense of purpose to go out and support his community.  

“It’s a sense of fulfilment and joy,” Skyler shares. “I know that the excitement I have in hosting or just showing up to events has helped inspire my peers and partners to join in.”

Sarah, Assistant Store Manager | Supports Ocean Wise

Through the Community Champions program, Sarah supports Ocean Wise, a BC-based non-profit organization whose mission is to empower communities and individuals to take action to protect and restore our world’s oceans.
In recent years, Sarah has led an Ocean Wise Shoreline Cleanup because she believes in protecting and saving the ocean “for the sake of our future survival,” she explains. “Oceans feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe. Shoreline Cleanup empowers coastal communities to stop the leak of plastics into our ocean, reinvent products and work towards a plastic-free future.”
The Community Champions program has allowed Sarah to expand her passion to make a difference, she says. Moreover, it’s helped “inspire more partners to make a huge impact supporting our community through the program's tools and resources, making a difference together, in so many ways.”

Kal, Store Manager | Supports ECSSEN Career School

Through the Community Champions program, Kal supports ECSSEN Career School, an Alberta-based organization that strives to support immigrant newcomers and socially disadvantaged to become productive members of society by providing career development opportunities, social service programs and other community-based support.

Kal chose to support ECSSEN because their values not only aligned with his, but that of his leadership as a partner at Starbucks - believing in accountability, collaboration, compassion and diversity.

He is “immensely and forever in gratitude” to the Community Champions program, he explains, because “it has shaped not only my career path, but my outlook as a partner and person, allowing me to navigate our world through empathy.” In doing so, it has given him visibility to partners beyond his own store, a chance to connect with something bigger than himself and his surroundings.

“It has given me many platforms to make my work as a leader more meaningful, and truly show what it means #tobepartner,” he says. “Through programs like Foodshare and other  community events my store was involved in, I got to meet people at ECSSEN and get involved with the organization.”  The strong focus on neighborhood impact at Kal’s LEED certified store, Bankview, has helped it become a hub where partners and customers alike can foster community “in every sense of the word,” he says.

Shehani, Store Manager | Supports Food Bank on Wheels

Through the Community Champions program, Shehani supports Food Bank on Wheels, a BC-based mobile delivery food bank putting together food hampers for those in community that may be unable to otherwise access food banks due to illness, disability, mobility or other circumstances in her community.
“The work Food Bank on Wheels does allows those who may be especially vulnerable to still have access to food,” Shehani explains.
She is thankful to the Community Champions program for connecting her with like-minded people. “It helps us get others more easily involved and hopefully light that community spark in them too,” she explains. “I believe building community is such an important part of making us all better humans who are more aware of each other, more open to understanding, more patient and kind, and more willing to help.”

Kay, Barista (They/Them) | Supports Connect Youth 

Through the Community Champions program, Kay supports Connect Youth, an Ontario-based community focus group that provides services for teens and young adults struggling with basic amenities, life skills and overall wellbeing.  

“Youth homelessness and mental health crises are prevalent in my area,” Kay explains. “Connect Youth has wonderful housing services, mental health and addictions groups, and adulting classes to curb these adversities.” 

Giving back to the community is very important to Kay and they appreciate being able to participate in the Community Champions program because  “it allows partners alike the chance to be involved – with Starbucks matching their efforts and inspiring the missions and values beyond the café!” 

Jilian, Store Manager | Supports Little Warriors 

Through the Community Champions program, Jilian supports Little Warriors, an Alberta-based organization that provides support for victims of childhood sexual abuse and their families.  

“Abuse at a young age is one of the most important indicators of quality of life,” Jilian says. “I chose to support Little Warriors because they are helping Alberta’s future grow and heal from their experiences.” 

Jilian values the Community Champions program because it allows her to maximize her giving. “Whether it be the donation match or volunteer time-related donations or grants, the Starbucks’ support aides in the functioning of this great organization,” she explains.

“We make a difference in the lives of more than we know. This program allows us to bring a light into our lives. A light that fills our cup so we can continue to drive the good we want to see around us.” 

Josh, Store Manager | Supports The Ottawa Mission 

Through the Community Champions program, Josh supports The Ottawa Mission, an Ontario-based organization that provides resources to Ottawa's under privileged communities.  

Working in the nation’s capital, Josh sees combating food scarcity, addiction, and homelessness as a major challenge in the city. “This organization is fighting on the front lines to make a difference for everyday people who just need a break,” he explains.  

For Josh, giving back to the community he works in is a critical piece to operating through a lens of humanity. “At Starbucks, we are deeply woven into the fabric of society as a place for community to gather, so it only makes sense that we give back at every opportunity,” he says.  

The Community Champions program gives him an opportunity to make a local impact while being part of the global solution. It’s why he always encourages his fellow partners to track their efforts in the portal and “really lean into the idea that if everyone is doing a little bit, then as a team we are doing a lot.” 

This Global Month of Good, we invite you to check back each week to learn more about our inspiring Community Champions. Every act of kindness, every volunteer hour, every moment of service adds up to support those in our communities. At Starbucks Canada, we recognize that together as partners we have the ability to make a difference, because together, the possibilities are limitless.  

Celia, Store Manager | Supports Main Street Project

Through the Community Champions program, Celia supports Main Street Project, a Winnipeg-based charity that provides essential services to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

“The charity is at the heart of the city, in an area where there are many people in need,” says Celia. “Main Street Project serves a community that is often forgotten and helps provide them with essential services to grow and develop.”

Bringing people together is a passion for Celia, who is enthusiastic about how the Community Champions program has provided her opportunities to connect with other partners through volunteering and community organizing.

“The program is important to me because I get to do something I love to do: bring people together to do good in our communities,” says Celia.  “I have been able to increase my impact by organizing events that allow other partners to get involved.”

Lyndsay, Barista | Supports Shifra Homes

Through the Community Champions program, Lyndsay supports Shifra Homes, an Ontario-based non-profit organization that helps support young, homeless pregnant women by providing a place to stay and helping them find a place to live after giving birth.

“I chose them as they do so much good for these women who need help,” Lyndsay explains. “And they are the only ones in the GTA that do this work.”

Lyndsay loves participating in the Community Champions program because it not only helps support her community but gives her an opportunity to better understand it.

“I love supporting the charities that need extra support,” she says. “But I also love the opportunity it gives for me to better know myself through these charities”.

Lyndsay also loves encouraging her fellow partners to join in her volunteer efforts. She recognizes that many partners are looking for inspiring volunteer opportunities to learn more about their local community, just like her.

Stephanie, Store Manager | Supports Entraide Agapé

Through the Community Champions program, Jackie supports Entraide Agapé, a Quebec-based food bank. “I choose them because they are the only food bank in Quebec City open seven days a week to people that need food,” she explains.

Stephanie says the Community Champions programs is important to her because it engenders empathy to the causes all around us.

“Unfortunately, we are sometimes unaware of what is happening in our community,” she says. “It is important to make others aware of realities other than our own so that we can ensure a better world.”

This Global Month of Good, we invite you to check back each week to learn more about our inspiring Community Champions. Every act of kindness, every volunteer hour, every moment of services adds up. At Starbucks Canada, we recognize that together as partners  we have the ability to make a difference, because together, the possibilities are limitless.  

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