Bluemont Starbucks partners with Toys for Tots, free coffee for those who donate

The Toys For Tots donation box is located in the Starbucks on Bluemont Avenue. (Elizabeth Sandstrom | Collegian Media Group)

In collaboration with Toys for Tots, the Starbucks located on Bluemont Avenue is seeking monetary or toy donations from Dec. 1 to Dec. 11.

“We started two years ago when I first took over this location,” Starbucks manager Enia Lagutchik said. “It’s something that I really enjoy being a part of. The magic of Christmas gives my team and I so much joy.”

Starbucks invites community members to drop off toys in the box located next to the condiment bar. Members will then distribute every donated toy to a family in Riley County.

Katelyn Andrist, junior in communication science and disorders, said this will be her third year partnering with Starbucks.

“My freshman year, I went to Starbucks all the time,” Andrist said. “I got to know the manager really well. One day I went in, and she flat out told me, ‘We’re not doing good. The box has no toys in it.’ I looked her in the eye and said, ‘Give me a week.'”

Andrist said that week she contacted everyone she knew to help raise money and has worked on this project with Starbucks ever since.

“I think it’s very vital to give back to the community,” Andrist said. “I will never meet these families nor these kids, but to know that we can raise money and give them what they deserve, that’s something that you can’t put a price tag on.”

This year, Starbucks will offer an incentive to those who donate on Dec. 11.

“We wanted to make sure we had an equal balance of giving and receiving,” Andrist said. “On Dec. 11, if you bring a toy to the physical Starbucks off of Bluemont, you will get a free iced tea or coffee.”

Lagutchik said she hopes the incentive will help fill the box.

“We wanted to make it into an actual event versus just having a location for people to donate,” Lagutchik said. “It is very important for us here in Aggieville to create those roots with our community. Starbucks has given me those resources available to be able to engage with that community.”