In a span of two weeks in 2018, four teen suicides shook the city of Rancho Cucamonga, California. Starbucks store manager Judy Alvarenga knew she needed to find a way to support her grieving community. Judy and her staff covered the store with sticky notes of positive affirmations, and set up a mailbox on the drinks bar where customers could take an affirmation and leave one for the next person. It was a simple gesture that sparked a wide-reaching conversation about mental health.
SideXSide Studios created this short film for a Starbucks conference in 2019, where it played at the Chicago Bulls United Center in front of a crowd of 13,000 people.
After the screening, affirmation boxes and localized mental health initiatives started popping up in Starbucks around the country. We even noticed a Starbucks store in Washington DC covered with similar sticky notes as in Judy’s store. The manager said she got the idea from seeing the short film at the conference. It was a joy to see such a direct impact from our work, and we’re honored to have helped spread Judy’s mission across the country.
Director/Director of Photography
Deanna Del Ciello
Sadie Zuch, Gabe Silverman