This I Believe

Katie - Miami, Florida
Entered on February 2, 2008

I believe in changing the world one moment at a time. Whether its sharing a cup of coffee or offering someone your coat small things can change a person’s life.

Last month we lost my aunt to breast cancer. She had battled with the disease a couple of years back and we all thought that she was on her way back to normal. We kind of forgot that breast cancer even existed. However, at Christmas-time Aunt Pat was feeling ill again—she thought she had pneumonia. It turns out that the cancer had returned. This time her lungs and heart were the battlegrounds for the war that had been waged in the previous years.

I remember being at work when I booked my flight to New Jersey. It was the second of January in Miami and it still didn’t feel like winter. However, I felt frozen when I got to the airline’s checkout page and realized that this trip would be the last time I saw my aunt. As I walked into the ladies room to compose myself I ran into a coworker. We don’t work in the same division, but Rosie has always been pleasant to be around. She always knows the right thing to say. Immediately upon entering the restroom Rosie asked me what was going on. I briefly told her, and still in a bit of shock from the impeding trip, I lamented that I didn’t even own winter clothes. Without taking a breath Rosie planned my wardrobe by supplementing it with a very warm coat, gloves, scarves, and a sweater from her own closet. I hugged her and started to feel a little warmer.

The trip up north was a cold one—I was met by snow flurries. As the realization of why the plane had brought me there sunk in, I hugged my borrowed coat tighter. The day after my aunt passed I put on the soft gloves and was reminded of how silky my aunt’s hands were when I said my goodbyes. As I hugged my family I remembered Rosie’s hug and realize that family doesn’t have to be someone related by blood.

When I get back to the office I’m going to share a cup of coffee with Rosie. You see, we work at Starbucks, where sharing coffee means something more than getting a jolt of caffeine. I believe that our company embraces little moments like the one Rosie and I shared. We’ve always said that we’re not in the coffee business serving people, but the people business serving coffee. I believe that Rosie is Starbucks. Maybe it’s not so much that Rosie lives the Starbucks mission, but that Starbucks embodies what Rosie does every day. I believe that if we have more companies, more families, more neighbors that are like my Starbucks and my Rosie the world can change for the better. Maybe I can change her life over coffee by letting Rosie know how she changed mine with her coat.