Free Starbucks Coffee on Fourth of July Aimed at Creating Jobs

More than 7,000 Starbucks Coffee cafes, including those in Hazelwood, are supporting an initiative using social media to provide financing to community businesses.

Fourth of July is about barbeque, fireworks and family fun, right?

Wrong. Starbucks is asking people to trade in all that, at least for a few minutes, for a hot cup of Joe on Independence Day. 

As part of CEO Howard Schultz's social media campaign #Indivisible, the chain will be handing out FREE tall hot brewed coffees to customers on Wednesday. 

The hope is the freebie-backed initiative will start a conversation about where the country's headed.

"Let’s tell our government leaders to put partisanship aside and to speak truthfully about the challenges we face," Schultz said in an open letter on the website. "Let’s ask our business leaders to create more job opportunities for the American economy. And as citizens, let’s all get more involved."

It's all about "Americans Helping Americans Create Jobs," according to  Starbucks information about the "Indivisible Blend" Blonde Roast coffee line that made it debut last month.

It also cites more than 8 percent of the U.S. labor force is unemployed. Economists have predicted current economic conditions will stretch into the longest period of U.S. unemployment in the last 70-plus years.

Starbucks teamed with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a group of community lending institutions established to provide financing to community businesses—especially those serving low-income, low-wealth and disadvantaged communities.

Schultz is pleading with customers to not be bystanders.

"Understand that we have a shared responsibility in solving our nation’s problems," he said. "We can’t wait for Washington."

Customer purchases of Starbucks' new Indivisible wristband for $5 provide a financial donation to OFN. Interested individuals also can donate online by clicking here.

Starbucks Foundation seeded the new project with $5 million. Customers' full $5 donations go straight to the cause. Company materials indicate the wristband is actually worth $35 when considering the new financing the opportunity creates. And yes, the wristbands were made in the USA.

The Indivisible coffee's packaging claims the blend is "perfect for celebrating summer and our country."

Starbucks materials indicates company teams "set out to create a coffee that was just right for every part of a great summer day in America. Created with Starbucks Blonde Roast for a bright flavor and light body, it's a true summer treat. Served iced, it's like a jump in the lake."

The 1-pound bag of coffee sells for $14.95 at area stores including both on and at .

Community businesses employ more than half of all private-sector workers, according to Starbucks materials about this program. Starbucks also stated community businesses have created 64 percent of new jobs in the past 15 years.

Deborah Reed July 04, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Hell yea...people wake up! Where is the REAL American spirit? Please, let go of the blinders and the apathy. What it really comes down to in the end is what do we want our America to be in the future and how hard we are willing to fight for it, right. Pray as a nation we make the right move.
Candace Jarrett July 04, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I like the comment Deborah. Positive and uplifting. If you don't speak up, you'll never be heard.


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