How Starbucks Workers Have Responded After Tragedies Like The Uvalde Shooting

In times of tragedy and terror, it's often difficult to know what the appropriate way to react is or how to best help those involved. While some may choose to allow the moment to remain neutral, showing respect by giving tragic events a moment of silence, others would rather take a stand and do something more proactive. And while some turn to rallies and protests to get the message out about tragedies such as mass shootings, war, bigotry, hunger, and the like, others go in a different direction.

Some believe it's better to step in and try to change things, such as chef José Andrés, who sent his World Central Kitchen team to Ukraine to feed struggling refugees and help keep them safe at the border. Others create a call to arms for involvement, such as the UN's World Food Program, which asked for donations from those more fortunate to help those struggling as they did with their cause to feed the hungry. 

And on a more local scale, there are actions like what Starbucks crew members did when they found a way to address the May 24 Uvalde school shooting, as well as other tragedies that have affected employees.

Starbucks baristas are serving up some extra care

In a May 26 Twitter post, Erin Douglas, a Texas Tribune reporter covering the Uvalde situation, documented her experience with a Starbucks barista who did several things that truly surprised her. She was conscious to make a note that when she first pulled up to the window at the Uvalde Starbucks, the barista "asked if I was taking time to take care of myself," a question that did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. 

This began a brief interaction in which she reciprocated the question and continued chatting with her long enough to learn that the barista was actually not a regular employee at this location. As Douglas recounted, "she actually works in San Antonio, but is working here so that Uvalde baristas have time off to grieve." Many commenters retweeted the post, noting they "had to share" the sweet action, with some mentioning other companies, such as H-E-B, that are doing the same for their employees. 

According to a Reddit chain where Douglas' story was reposted, this is a recurring practice at Starbucks when there's a massive loss, with many recounting stories of their own in which the store had employees from other locations sub in for employees who lost a loved one or who are affected by a tragedy.