October 6, 2015 Sustainability

Starbucks Joins the White House to Support Refugee Relief Efforts

With millions of refugees fleeing conflicts in Syria and other areas and seeking safety across Central and Western Europe, Starbucks is compelled to use the scale of its digital platforms to raise funds for crisis relief organizations.

Today, Starbucks is joining the White House and other companies to use our collective digital properties and social media presence to encourage customer support of American Red Cross efforts to aid refugees and migrants.

Noting that more than seven million people – roughly the population of New York City, where the Statue of Liberty stands today – have been displaced, and over half of the refugees are children, a White House blog post stated, “We have a moral responsibility to do what we can for families forced from their homes. We can join together to provide shelter, food and medical assistance to these people in need. It’s the American thing to do.”

Starbucks and the White House are encouraging donations to the Red Cross. A flyer will be posted on community boards in Starbucks stores informing customers of the effort, visible on social media through the hashtag #AidRefugees. In addition, Starbucks partners (employees) who contribute at least $20 to any 501(c)(3) organization in the U.S. may submit a matching gift request through the company’s community service website.

“Many of these migrants and refugees have risked everything in search of safety for their families. They have faced unimaginable hardships along the way, but continue their journeys with hope for the future. Their needs are great, but together we can provide crucial relief supplies and some level of comfort in their time of need,” said David Meltzer, general counsel and chief international officer of the American Red Cross.

The Starbucks Foundation has already made donations to: Save the Children, a non-profit organization focused on providing urgent relief and long-term aid to refugee children and their families; Aktion Deutschland Hilft, an alliance of respected aid organizations leading refugee support in Germany; and Caritas, a non-profit which is doing the same work across Austria and other European countries.

“As a company, we don’t sit on the sidelines during a humanitarian crisis. By creating awareness and supporting the Red Cross in providing food, shelter and medical care, we can make a difference to those affected by the refugee crisis,” said Vivek Varma, executive vice president Starbucks Public Affairs. “Together, we can be proud of what we can accomplish.”


Photos used with permission by the American Red Cross

For more information on this story, contact the Starbucks Newsroom