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Honey Foundation Pollinates World with Kindness

Mother’s Day is special for The Honey Foundation, as it is at the center of the Goodyear-based organization’s founding.


Scott Clarke had no idea of the impact one action would have. Like a pebble dropped in a pond, it rippled outward.


Every Mother’s Day, Scott gave money and roses to the person at Starbucks’ register. He told them to use the money until it ran out to pay for the drinks of mothers who stopped by the store and to give them roses.

On Mother’s Day 2011, Scott’s mother went to a Starbucks for a coffee. Instead, she received a free drink. When she asked who was responsible, she learned it was Scott, who died shortly thereafter on June 3, 2011.


At his funeral, Scott’s twin brother, Justin, shared the story during his eulogy. That inspired Scott’s friends and family to repeat the action on Father’s Day at the same Starbucks in his memory.


“During our grief, I wanted to know why people do those certain things,” said Jaime Clarke, wife of Justin and a co-founder of the Honey Foundation.


“We found out that it’s the stories that inspire more kindness and the ripple effect. So when someone does something like that, then the next person wants to do something similar or just like it.”

 

Inspired, Jaime and Justin Clarke founded The Honey Foundation to honor Scott’s legacy in September 2012.

“We say we are sweet like honey, honey never spoils. If the bees weren’t pollinating the world, we would all die. We wouldn’t have food or air,” Jaime said. “The same thing with kindness. If we didn’t have people pollinating the world with kindness, our world would be a dark and scary place.”


To that end, The Honey Foundation keeps track of acts of kindness with The Deed Feed. Participants can anonymously log the altruistic behavior, and visitors can scroll through it and read about the small ways in which people are trying to improve the world.


Odyssey Preparatory School approached the foundation about creating a social and emotional curriculum centered on kindness. At the time, the school was struggling with a bully problem and hoped that such a program might lead to a more harmonious school environment.


“We saw a 51% decrease in school violence and bullying there from just focusing on our kindness curriculum,” Jaime said.


She developed a PowerPoint presentation, leaning on her skills as a marriage and family therapist to bring it to fruition.


“We’ve been able to do the same in nine different states and other schools in Arizona,” Clarke said.


This year, The Honey Foundation will partner with 11 coffee shops to pay it forward on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8. One such shop is Modern Grind, owned by Daphnie Kelly, a former elementary school teacher.


“She (Jaime) was my daughter’s swim coach,” Kelly said. “She knew that our coffee shop was all about the community, fundraising, growing youth programs, and I’m a former teacher. Just a lot our beliefs and values overlapped, and we stayed in touch since.”

Modern Grind opened in 2020, and this is the second year the coffee shop will take part in the Mother’s Day event.


“It aligns perfectly with what we’re all about,” Kelly said.


Coffee shops taking part in the event are:

• Modern Grind in Avondale.

• Village Coffee in Scottsdale.

• Starbucks on West Camelback Road in Litchfield Park.

• Oasis Bagel in Goodyear.

• Sugar N Spice Coffee and Tea.

• Enroute Coffee & Tea House in Goodyear.

• Jackrabbit Java in Buckeye.

• The Starbucks Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

• Starbucks on Pebble Creek Parkway in Goodyear.

• Starbucks on 99th and McDowell in Avondale.

Sponsoring the event are Luma Learning, Pinson Family Foundation, Survival Swim, Maryann Pennella, Jerry Hassman, F|Staff, Cloward Orthodontics, Duncan & Son Lines, Point & Click, Osborne Jewelers and Avondale Toyota. They cover the cost of the coffee and the rose and bee stickers.


This year the Honey Foundation is also partnering with coffee shops for a similar event on Father’s Day. Jaime said that coffee shops and sponsors asked about doing something for Father’s Day this year as well.

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