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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Five Cents? Really?

Today's irritation: the whole Starbucks world AIDS day thing. Guess what? When you buy a cup of their overpriced coffee, they'll give a whopping FIVE CENTS to AIDS relief efforts. People are going to rush in to Starbucks to do their good deed for the day, Starbucks gets the pat on the back for being socially responsible, everybody feels good about themselves, all over a measly FIVE CENTS. Here's a thought: Why not skip the Starbucks today, and donate your $2.50 or whatever your drink of choice costs to the charity of your choice? Imagine what kind of good you could do if you skipped your Starbucks run one day a week and donated that money. But instead, everyone's all hopped up over the five cents that doesn't cut into anyone's profit margins. Yes, it adds up, and yes, I'm sure it does good. But come on people!

Most of us make in a week what these people in Africa make in a year. And all it takes to ease our conscience is five cents out of money we're already spending. That doesn't sit right with me. Even if you're making an extra trip to Starbucks to do your part, you're spending your money to give FIVE CENTS. Seriously. Five cents. If all you really want to give is five cents, why not run by the mall and drop that change in the Salvation Army bucket?

Maybe I'm jaded, but it seems to me that this whole making a difference for World AIDS Day is less about actually helping people, but about giving Starbucks a great PR platform. People are going to buy more coffee because they think they're doing a good thing. And sure, they're helping people. Starbucks gets $2.45, AIDS gets $.05. Who's the real winner here?

If you care about AIDS and the plight of people with AIDS, here are a few suggestions to make a real difference. First, visit the World AIDS Day website, with information on AIDS as well as ways to get involved. Yes, it takes a little more than buying your favorite drink, but seriously, why not feel good about actually making a difference as opposed to tossing in your five cents while Starbucks gets richer? Second, there are a lot of great organizations invested in caring for people affected by HIV/AIDS. Two of my favorites are World Vision and Compassion International. For what tends to be the average American's monthly Starbucks budget, you can sponsor a child in an HIV/AIDS affected area and give that child hope for a decent future. You can't drink it, but you will be saving a life.

1 comment:

Kay Day said...

That's what I think about the stupid pink Yoplait lids. And people have to mail them in! They don't just donate a percentage, you have to save and mail in the stupid lids!
If they really cared about cancer research, they would just donate a bunch of money.
I hate marketing.