Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Notes of gratitude at Starbucks

Posted @ 6:29 PM

At the Starbucks Coffee shop inside the local Albertsons in Fallbrook, numerous notes of gratitude from firefighters and other emergency workers reveal one reason for their stamina.

"Starbucks Fallbrook!! You guys are the real heroes. You saved us so we may save others! ST 6017A Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire."

Last week, from Wednesday through Sunday, the Starbucks in Albertsons at 1133 S. Mission Road handed out free coffee to "anyone in a uniform," said Brianna Roth, an 18-year-old Starbucks employee. Roth and her co-workers also carried cups of coffee and thermoses to area checkpoints. The grocery store gave out muffins and sandwiches, Roth said.

Some of the coffee was supported by local patrons who bought gift cards and left them on the counter for firefighters to use.

The numerous notes, penned on slips of paper and brown Starbucks paper bags, were effusive.

"Thank you so much for taking care of us!" wrote a group of firefighters from Ukiah, Fort Bragg, Eureka, Laytonville and South Lake County.

"This is a very kind gesture. Thank you," wrote firefighters from Meeks Bay Fire Dept. at Lake Tahoe, which suffered a devastating wildfire this summer.

Firefighters from Deadwood Camp in Siskiyou County, Fremont, Alameda County and the city of Alameda, Berkeley, Livermore, Pleasanton, Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Yosemite, Vista, Camp Pendleton, Rancho Santa Fe and other places all stopped at the Starbucks during last week's fires.

"You guys are awesome! Thanks for keeping us awake on patrol," wrote one Sheriff's deputy.

On Oct. 26, a man named John Hays stopped in and wrote: "It has been an honor to help you folks."

Roth and her co-workers said many firefighters refused to accept coffee for free, and donated money for a fund being raised for an Albertsons worker who lost his home.

Amid all the notes posted by emergency crews, a woman named Kathryn D. left her own simple message:

"Thank you for saving our home," she wrote. "God bless you all."

- Bruce Lieberman, staff writer

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