Starbucks Joins RED to Fight AIDS

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Starbucks Joins RED to Fight AIDS

It no doubt came as a big surprise to those attending the Starbucks’ managers conference in New Orleans yesterday when U2 front-man Bono walked out on the stage. According to media reports Bono joked:

“I was going to jump out of a cranberry scone, but maybe not.”

Bono went on to say that his appearance was even kept secret from the rest of his U2 band members. The cause for all of this hoopla was Starbucks’ decision to partner with (RED), a private organization that benefits AIDS programs in Africa.

Starbucks Red

(RED) was founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver to benefit the Global Fund. The Global Fund, created in 2002, provides money to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. With approximately 4100 people dying daily in Africa from these diseases, the addition of Starbucks to the list of companies partnered with (RED) will result in lives being saved.

Starting November 27th through January 2nd, Starbucks will donate 5 cents to the Global Fund for each holiday beverage it sells. Following the holiday season Starbucks will designate certain products as (RED) of which similar donation be given from their sales.

Bono was quoted as saying:

“Here we are, talking about the economy tanking. People are saying, ‘Maybe the world doesn’t need more coffee houses.’ And what do you do? What does Starbucks do? You decide to give your money away. This is not charity. This is commerce.”

According to Starbucks, if every Starbucks customer bought one (RED) Holiday Exclusive (beverage) for a week 15,000 lives could be saved in Africa.

The question I raise, is this:

Drink Cost (Estimated $4 per Drink) x 7 = $28.00
Money Donated by Starbucks to (RED) = $.05 x 7 = $0.35

If $0.35 x All Starbucks Customers = 15 thousand lives saved
Then $28 x All Starbucks Customers = 1,200,000 million lives saved

I ask you, why not skip spending that money at Starbucks and just giving it all directly to (RED)? This kind of charity is sugar coated goodness, it doesn’t require one ounce of sacrifice, and when you consider that you are drinking an overpriced cup of coffee, its really quit sad.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the (RED) project should be commended for trying to help in whatever way it can, its the rest of humanities blind eye and dedication to self that I have a problem with, mainly because this kind of thing makes me realize how little I am doing. But then again, maybe that is a good thing.

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