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Starbucks campaign to help local foster youth during holidays
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The spirit of gift giving is on the minds of many as Christmas gets closer each day. This holiday season, coffee empire Starbucks is joining alongside local social services agency Aspiranet to help bring holiday gifts to youth in foster care.

Starbucks customers can help bring joy to a child in foster care as the coffee shop hosts its annual gift drive. By working with Aspiranet, an organization dedicated to supporting foster children, siblings, and families in communities throughout California, the two forces will make gift-giving possible in more than 300 Starbucks stores throughout the state.

From now through Dec. 22, foster youth gift wishes will be on display on a large Christmas tree at 146 Starbucks stores in the Central Valley. To participate in the gift drive, customers simply select a gift wish off of the tree and bring the unwrapped gifts back to the store location with the original gift tag attached. Gifts can be for youth ranging from young children to teenagers.

“We are very grateful to Starbucks for its continuous support making sure the foster youth we serve are thought of and cared for throughout the holiday season,” said Vernon Brown, CEO of Aspiranet. “We always see the greatest need among our older youth between the ages of 10 and 17.”

During last year’s gift drive, Starbucks customers donated more than 6,000 gifts. Foster children range from infants to older youth, who are sometimes about to transition out of foster care.

“We encourage those who wish to donate to open their hearts to foster and at-risk youth of all ages this year,” said Brown.

Gift drives can be found at the following Turlock Starbucks locations: 3000 Geer Rd.,  2012 E. Canal Dr., 2201 W. Main St., and 3220 Countryside Dr.