Starbucks is aiming to make the season bright for Aspiranet foster youth and teens. An annual holiday gift drive, returning this year, allows Starbucks customers in California to help out a foster child in need.
Through the drive, foster youth served by Aspiranet – a leading human service agency in California – can receive gifts their choosing, with the help of Starbucks' patrons.
“We are very grateful to Starbucks for its continuous support making sure the foster youth we serve are thought of and cared for throughout the holiday season,” said Vernon Brown, CEO of Aspiranet. “We always see the greatest need among our older youth between the ages of 10 and 17; we encourage those who wish to donate to open their hearts to foster and at-risk youth of all ages this year.”
The drive has been going since Nov. 12 and will continue until Dec. 22. Aspiranet trees in select Starbucks locations hold cards bearing the foster youths’ gift wishes. To participate, patrons select a card and then return the desired unwrapped gift to the store location with the original “wish” tag attached.
Last year alone, Starbucks customers donated more than 6,000 gifts. This allowed Aspiranet social workers to deliver age-appropriate gifts for thousands of foster youth and teens.
“I do it once a year,” said Andee Goodwin, one of the many participants. “I started doing it two years ago, so this will be my third year. It’s important to me because I think that it would be a really horrible experience to be a child and not have your family around for Christmas. So I try to do what I can to make their Christmas a little bit brighter.”
For more information, visit http://aspiranetheroes.org/giftdrive for a list of participating Starbucks locations. Those unable to visit a Starbucks store are welcome to help by donating to support youth transitioning out of foster care at http://www.aspiranet.org/.