Starbucks Corp. said Wednesday it is asking its customers to donate five hours of time to their communities as part of an initiative to coincide with President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.
Customers who fill out a pledge card to give five hours of time to a local "volunteer opportunity" of their choice will receive a free tall brewed coffee beginning Jan. 21 through Jan. 25. Customers can pick up pledge cards inside stores.
The initiative comes as Obama, who called during his presidential campaign for a renewed commitment to community service, is sworn in to the Oval Office on Tuesday.
Starbucks said it is partnering with HandsOn Network, a nonprofit organization that attempts to bolster volunteerism, for the program. Starbucks said it hopes to raise pledges for more than one million hours of service through the campaign, called "I'm In."
"We hope to help spark a new spirit of volunteerism by exceeding a million pledge hours and HandsOn Network is the perfect partner to allow our customers to join us in a renewed national commitment to community service," said Vivek Varma, senior vice president of global affairs at Starbucks.
Starbucks is not alone in commemorating next week's inauguration with special initiatives and offers. Starbucks competitor Dunkin' Donuts said Tuesday it will celebrate the event by selling a new "Stars & Stripes" doughnut for 89 cents from Saturday through Tuesday. The frosted doughnut is decorated with red, white and blue star-shaped sprinkles.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc., meanwhile, is giving away a free doughnut of choice to every customer on Tuesday.