Starbucks brings movie narrations to the blind
The voice of Zheng Tao is familiar to his visually impaired friends because the district manager at Starbucks Beijing has narrated films for them for six years.
Zheng and his colleagues usually visit the Beijing Hongdandan Education and Culture Exchange Center on the third Saturday of every month to share movie stories with people with visual difficulties. Zheng said he “guides their eyes” and helps them “see the colorful world in films”.
The first film he narrated at the center was The Missing Gun, directed by Lu Chuan. Zheng said he watched the film 10 times in one month and prepared a well-organized narration to help his listeners better understand the movie.
“Some of the movies were quite serious and my blind friends felt upset after hearing them,” Zhengsaid. “Itwas necessary to help them understand the stories positively.”
He said initially he was nervous to do the volunteering job but now is much more confident as he has spent much time learning and practicing his narration skills. Zheng has shared more than 40 films with his listeners since 2010.
He was honored as one of China’s top 50 innovators for his contribution to the film narration project by Chinese business news magazine CBN Weekly in September. The magazine chooses the top 50 innovators annually from seven fields including marketing, technology and corporate social responsibility.
“I always wanted to do something to help make the world a better place for disabled people,” said Zheng. “I’d like to share this honor with my Starbucks partners across China, many of whom are doing much more than I do in terms of giving back to local communities.”
Starbucks started supporting the film narration project more than nine years ago. A listener surnamed Xiao said it was very comfortable to listen to the narration while drinking coffee brought by Starbucks volunteers, and their service was excellent.
The company also decided in 2011 to make every April its service month. This year’s theme of the Starbucks global service month was supporting young people.
Starbucks baristas visited the Beijing campus of BN Vocational School on April 25 and shared with more than 100 young people, including knowledge of coffee culture, maintenance of coffee machines and job seeking skills.
Cui Fuqiu, vice-president of StarbucksChina, said: “We believe that by contributing to communities we can help young people obtain better employment and vocational skills, improve their living and learning environments, and realize their dreams.”