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Starbucks to share wealth with Urban League, Abyssinian Corp.

When Starbucks Coffee Co. closed its store on the corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Vernon Ave., the Los Angeles Urban League started asking questions. by Cynthia E. Griffin
NNPA News Service

When Starbucks Coffee Co. closed its store on the corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Vernon Ave., the Los Angeles Urban League started asking questions.

Some two years later, those questions have morphed into a new business model that Starbucks, the L.A. Urban League and the Harlem-based Abyssinian Development Corp. announced last week.

Under this new model, for a three-year period, Starbucks will donate a minimum of $100,000 out of the profits from two of its stores to each of the nonprofit groups for use to help bolster programs in the communities the two organizations serve.

In Los Angeles, the bustling Starbucks at Crenshaw Boulevard and Coliseum Street will serve as the focal point, and in New York, the store at 125th Street and Lenox Avenue will support Abyssinian.

“Starbucks is partnering with two organizations doing heroic work to address the economic, social and education challenges in their communities,” said Howard Schultz, president, chairman and CEO, Starbucks Coffee Co. “These two partnerships are intended to help us learn how our company can successfully join with change-making community organizations in a localized, coordinated and replicable way.”

Starbucks is taking the lead in very tough economic times and appreciates the need for collaboration between forward-thinking organizations from the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, said Blair H. Taylor, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League.

“Our hope is that this powerful relationship, which allows communities to receive contributions from Starbucks through nonprofit agencies, will be replicated by other companies across the nation.”

The program begins this month, and according to Urban League spokesperson Chris Strudwick-Turner, the funding will allow the nonprofit to do some things it has not been able to do in this shaky economic climate.

(Special to the NNPA from Our Weekly)


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