San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills wants to share his love for coffee while donating money to support victims of domestic violence.
On Sunday, eight local coffee shops will open their doors for curbside pickup orders of coffee, food, and merchandise. Whatever those eight shops make on Sunday, Mills will double and then donate to Family Violence Prevention Services in San Antonio.
Mills told reporters in a video conference call Friday he was concerned that the issue of domestic violence had been overlooked during the coronavirus pandemic. Global leaders and local leaders alike have urged people not to forget about domestic violence victims, but Bexar County residents have suffered domestic violence at particularly high rates in the recent past, Mills said. The Texas Council on Family Violence found that 25 people died as a result of domestic violence in 2018 in Bexar County.
“And now that the pandemic has hit, the reports [of domestic violence] have been an 18 percent increase, just because of the quarantine and the lockdown,” he said. “Finding a way to be able to make an impact … is important and needs to be done.”
Mills said he wanted to also support local businesses at the same time, as they have been hurt by the pandemic as well. He kicked off the initiative by bringing together the owners of the eight participating coffee shops in one video call, he said. He added that online gathering felt special because San Antonio’s coffee purveyors are often too busy to get to know their fellow local coffee slingers.
Mills’ love for coffee has been well documented – he even leads the Spurs’ “Coffee Gang.” During the pandemic, he began hosting video calls with Spurs players – past and current – to catch up and talk about their coffee preferences.
Mills sees himself as a leader for the younger Spurs players, he said. He tries to set an example not only on the basketball court or workout room, but also by being a contributing member of the San Antonio community.
“Being the longest tenured member of the San Antonio Spurs is something that I’m proud of and something that I also feel a responsibility [for],” he said. “It’s just being able to use my platform to be able to bring people together, share some good vibes, but at the same time really make an impact on the things that really matter.”
He credited coach Gregg Popovich for instilling the value of community involvement within Spurs players.
“There’s a big world out there and we need to broaden our vision … and this is one of those examples,” he said.
As for choosing Mother’s Day for this campaign, the stars just aligned, Mills said.
“Texans love driving and getting in their cars and driving, so if they are doing that for Mother’s Day, drop by one of these eight coffee shops and buy your mama coffee,” Mills said, laughing. “As well as [for] the rest of the people in the car, and understand that you’re giving back in a major way at the same time.”
People can post pictures of themselves and their local coffee purchases on Sunday with the hashtag #GiveMamaCoffee for a chance to join Mills and other Coffee Gang members on a video call, he said. Coffee shops will practice social distancing, according to the campaign’s website. People should still wear masks, gloves, and maintain 6 feet of distance from people not in their household.
Mills said he would be stopping by one of the local coffee shops on Sunday, though he didn’t say which one.
Here are the participating coffee shops you can visit to support domestic violence victims: