(CNN) – Starbucks is paying workers to give back to their communities.
On Thursday, the coffeehouse chain announced a pilot program that allows some employees to spend half of their work week at local nonprofits.
The company started testing the program last week with 36 employees in 13 cities.
For six months, the employees are spending 20 hours a week working at Starbucks, and the other 20 hours working at organizations that align with Starbucks' philanthropic mission.
Starbucks' priorities include supporting the military, fighting hunger, protecting the environment and helping refugees.
"Points of Light," the nonprofit started by former President George H.W. Bush, will reimburse employees for their time spent working for local organizations through a grant from the Starbucks Foundation.
Though only 36 employees were picked, more than 200 applied to participate, according to Points of Light.
A new group of workers will be chosen for the fall of 2019 if the pilot program goes well.
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