As a third place between home and work, our stores have become gathering places that create connections between baristas and their customers. But they also build a sense of community among partners themselves.
In 1998, Seattle-area partners took that sense of community to the next level, establishing the Caring Unites Partners – or CUP – Fund to help each other in times of need. The fund provides a financial safety net to those whose lives have been turned upside down by natural disasters or family emergencies.
The CUP Fund is sustained primarily by voluntary partner contributions, but it has also benefited from other sources; such as a partners-only store located within the Starbucks Support Center. And every little bit has surely helped: The program has made millions of dollars in grants to help thousands of partners get back on their feet after hurricanes, house fires and other life-changing crises.