In August, we wrote about Upward Spiral, the job-creation organization from Starbucks’ Howard Schultz. Now, Starbucks is enlisting its customers in an employment-focused initiative called Create Jobs for USA , a partnership with the community-lending nonprofit Opportunity Finance Network. Starting next month, Starbucks patrons will be able to donate to Create Jobs for USA in many of the stores and online, with a donation of $5 or more earning a red, white and blue wristband with a tag reading “Indivisible.” (Starbucks itself will kick in $5 million and also announced two profit-sharing programs, with a store in Harlem and one in L.A. giving at least $100,000 in the first year to a community group in each neighborhood.)
“Americans helping Americans create jobs” is the tagline for the initiative, which gives the “haves” (those who can afford the indulgence of a Frappuccino) an easy way to help the have-nots. “We want to match up every person who has $5 to share with every person who can’t spare $5,” said the CEO of Opportunity Finance Network. Schultz is also emphasizing that “We’re not going to wait for Washington” (as he told Businessweek), and there’s clearly plenty of mileage in the idea that citizens and brands alike need to take responsibility for driving change.
While Occupy Wall Street is providing an outlet for grassroots anger, that movement as yet has no clear objectives other than simple expression. This initiative presents one small way for people to make a tangible difference.
Photo Credit: createjobsforusa.org