I was watching Oprah as I was working out at my gym yesterday afternoon. The program was aired from Washington D.C. and they talked about Tuesday's inauguration. Everybody was so ecstatic.
Then Oprah mentioned about Starbuck's I'm In! campaign which if you volunteer 5 hours of your time for community service, you'll get a free coffee. This is another way of Starbucks wanting to join new Obama movement to get all of us involved to change our society.
I had to go to Target to get some toothpaste after working out. There's a Starbucks there, so I decided to swing by and to see what's up with their "I'm In" promotion. I ordered Grande Latte and picked up the "Yes, I'm In" promotional paper that they had on the counter.
Me: "So, can you tell me how this works?" Barista#1: "Ahhhh..." (he seemed a little confused) Me: "I heard that if you join for this volunteer thing, you get free coffee. Do I need to sign up or tell you where I intend to do the volunteering?" Barista#1: "I don't think so...." (he clearly has not idea what this campaign is) Me: "Oh, so you wouldn't even know if I am really going to vlunteer because there is no way for you to find out that I did community servise... Barista#1: "Okay, let me ask someone else" (so this kid grabs another barista and she came towards the cash register..)
Barista2: "Hi, how can I help you?" Me: "Yes, I watched this on Operah today and wanted to know how this works. I thought I have to tell you where I would go to do 5 hour community service." Barista: "Oh no, you don't have to do anything. All you need to do is to say "Yes". Me: "What? That's it? I don't have to write down my name or anything?" Barista2: "No... We take your word for it." Me: "Wow.."
As I got my coffee and walked away, I heard Barista #1 asking Barista #2, "I didn't know that we're doing this.. Is it popular?" LOL. Barista 2 said, "Oh yeah, it's all over the place, radio, newspaper and tv.."
Okay everybody, I paid for my latte. I didn't say "yes, I'm in!" just for a free latte. I felt like if I said "Yes" to this 5 hour community service and got free latte, but ended up not doing volunteering, that would be bad. Starbucks is proud to say that over 576,600 hours have been pledged to community service. That is great, but how many people of those who got free coffee really are going to invest their time to volunteer? I hate to say this, but I have a feeling many people wind up not doing it because Starbucks does not take any record (name, organizations, etc) of people said "yes, I'm in." After all I am sure many people would say "yes" just to get free coffee.
I would hope that they all take their time to volunteer because it's a great thing. I am thinking about going back today to pledge my time - 5 hours of my time to help homeless people at a shelter.... This promotion is until today, so if you have 5 hours of your life to invest, then go to Starbucks! But also, this doesn't have to be just 5 hours - you can volunteer any time and any where because that is even more beautiful!!!
One of my high moments during the Inauguration was the Reverend Joseph Lowery's benediction. I thought the prayer/speech was beautiful and it touched me deeply (and a good laugh in the end!) Although I hear that many people didn't like or disagree what he had to say, it was very powerful, kind and warm....