In the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, the coffee giant decided to say thank you to the nation's health workers in the best way possible.
As a society, we may never have appreciated our first responders in the way we do now, in the wake of the Coronavirus epidemic. Today, we know exactly how important doctors, nurses, firefighters, and paramedics are. Our public health systems would crumble without them. In order to appreciate all that they do and thank them for their sacrifice, several people have come forward to do their part. Whether it is children writing thank you notes or citizens simply staying at home to make things easier on our first responders, we are all trying to ease their burden. Most recently, coffee giant Starbucks stepped in to say thank you in their own way. First responders in the fight against COVID-19 will now be able to get free coffee from their local Starbucks, CNN reports.
In an official statement from the coffee empire published on Wednesday this week, the New York Post reports, they confirmed that all frontline health workers would be able to get a free tall brewed or iced coffee at any open Starbucks outlets. The offer will be available starting now until May 3 in the United States. The list of those who will be able to get a free cup of joe include police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, medical staff, and medical researchers. After all, these folks are essentially leaving behind their own families and neighborhoods in order to ensure that you and yours are safe, healthy, and protected. Several health workers also confront the risk of contracting the disease themselves at present, especially owing to a lack or shortage of protective gear.
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Sadly, it may be difficult for frontline health workers to find an open Starbucks outlet amidst the various shutdowns across the country. A number of cafes in the United States and Canada have opted to close until further notice in order to protect their own employees. However, some outlets, such as those in or near hospitals, have chosen to remain open. Others currently offer drive-thru or delivery options. Further to offering health workers free coffee, The Starbucks Foundation will be donating a generous $500,000 to two charitable organizations: Direct Relief and Operation Gratitude. This combined contribution is expected to support frontline responders during the Coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to appreciating the nation's health workers, Starbucks is making sure the company's own employees are being taken care of. Over the next 30 days, whether Starbucks employees come into work or not, they can expect to receive pay for all 30 days. They will also continue to receive mental health and sick pay benefits. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson wrote in an open letter, "This moment in time, as the world is united in an effort to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, requires coordinated action by governments, health care providers, businesses, and people in every community. Working together, we are making a difference and, together, we will overcome this unprecedented challenge. I am inspired by our Starbucks store partners around the world who proudly wear the green apron and who are rising to the occasion. They demonstrate our resilience and our commitment to the communities we serve."
He continued, "Starbucks continues to act based on three simple principles: ensuring the health and well-being of our partners and customers, supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain and mitigate this virus, and showing up as a responsible member of the 32,000 communities in which we are the Third Place. It is the responsibility of every business to care for its employees during this time of uncertainty, shared sacrifice, and common cause. I hope to see many business leaders across this country doing all they can to retain jobs, pay employees, continue benefits, and demonstrate compassion as they make critical decisions. Not every decision is a financial one." Johnson affirmed his optimism in defeating this public health crisis. "I am optimistic that together we can overcome this challenge," he stated. "The human experience is about overcoming adversity by being resilient, and that is certainly on display across the nation. We will overcome this. Our resilience will be rewarded."