Eugene Cho

starbucks barista donates organ to customer

“Umm, I’ll take a tall double shot non-fat hazelnut latte with a kidney, please.”

450starbuckskidney12_virginiamason.jpg

An incredible story in the Seattle PI about a Starbucks barista, Sandie Andersen, who donated her kidney [procedure took place March 11] to one of the regular customers, Annamarie Ausnes, after learning that her kidney was deteriorating. 

Annamarie Ausnes had been visiting her local Starbucks for coffee and small talk with the barista for three years. During their conversations, they talked about almost everything, but Ausnes never once mentioned her failing health.

Ausnes, 55, who works at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, has known about her polycystic kidney disease for nearly 20 years…When her health suddenly began to decline and her kidneys were functioning at only 15 percent, she knew she needed a transplant.  Had her kidney function deteriorated to 12 percent, she would have faced painful dialysis treatments and possible death. Her only option was a transplant. Her husband and son weren’t matches. She was facing a long wait on a transplant list.

One day last fall, she mentioned to Sandie Andersen — the barista she casually knew through her morning caffeine runs — that her kidneys were shutting down. Andersen, 51, didn’t hesitate. She had a blood test to see if she matched her customer. She did. [read full story]

Here’s the NY Times version of the story.  It doesn’t state specifically that Sandie Anderson is a Christian but it’s fairly evident that she is:

Ms. Andersen, who has done missionary work in Mexico and helped dig mud out of houses in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, said this latest gesture should not be viewed as unusually magnanimous. People should give freely of themselves, she said, and they do more often than is noticed.

I don’t care who makes the best espresso in the world.  Sandie Anderson deserves the title of “Best Barista.”  And a generous tip for sure. 

Wow. I’m simply amazed by this selfless act – it is a story of BEAUTY. 

I don’t know why I want to say this but I will anyway… 

Ms. Sandie Anderson:

Thank you.

If you were ordering a drink from her, what would you say [besides your order]?

Filed under: health, , ,

5 Responses

  1. Janet says:

    One word:

    Amazing.

  2. Chad says:

    you know what scares me? corporate is going to shove this down all our throats “look what she did! you should all be so dedicated to your customers” etc.
    oh yeah, i work for the evil coffee empire (aka starbucks)

  3. Jerry says:

    Looks like that 3 hour Starbucks closure for training really worked!

  4. selmerakt says:

    Wow, that’s pretty amazing…

  5. Geoff says:

    Nah I work for a store that sells starbucks drinks. We won’t hear a thing about it, the most we’ll hear is that we need to upsell in creative ways.

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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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