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Piloting Community Engagement

Starbucks Service Fellows Maddy Loeb and Candice Cogburn spent six months serving at VolunteerNow for a deep-dive into community engagement best practices. The pair participated in a pilot service program launched in 2018 by Starbucks and Points of Light in 13 cities across the U.S. Nationwide, 36 Starbucks employees worked 20 hours in their store each week, while also working part-time with a local nonprofit to drive forward its mission, vision and programs. Collectively, Service Fellows provided more than 17,000 hours of community service.

“Volunteering connects the community with nonprofits that need their help,” Candice Cogburn said. “I now feel very empathetic towards volunteers and people receiving their services.”

In addition to organizing community events and activities, the Fellows supported our disaster-related services work by teaching preparedness to more than 400 students through the American Red Cross Pillowcase Project. Maddy and Candice also invited coworkers to engage in conversation around race relations, equity and inclusion at a Civic Lunch - an adaptation of the Civic Dinner - to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the national day of service dedicated to his legacy. 

Maddy and Candice transformed what they learned into high-impact capstone "legacy" projects that showcased volunteerism. Candice hosted “Volunteering in the Arts”, a panel discussion aimed at learning the different strategies art-based nonprofits use to recruit and retain volunteers. Maddy developed a resource guide, “Coffee & Causes”, based on the fellows’ experience hosting a speed-volunteering event at the new Starbucks Community Store in Redbird. The “Coffee & Causes” planning guide will make it easier for Starbucks employees to host similar service events in their stores and connect with community organizations. 

Through their service, both Fellows said they developed an appreciation for volunteering and a newfound passion for serving others. Beyond the program, Maddy hopes to inspire children through volunteer work with nonprofit Heart House and serving in their after-school program, and Candice will focus on supporting the AT&T Performing Arts Center as a volunteer, while planning and hosting a second presentation of "Volunteering in the Arts". 

“Volunteering can change the trajectory of your life,” Maddy Loeb said. “You always have the capacity to be a change in your community.”