Giving Back: Making a Difference, Building Community

Build-A-Bear Joins Stop Cyberbullying Campaign

Build-A-Bear Workshop, in partnership with, is promoting October as "Stop Cyberbullying Month" at its stores and in its online virtual world, Cyberbullying, a growing problem among children, tweens, and teens, made national headlines in 2006 when a 13-year-old girl committed suicide after being bullied online by a group that included the mother of one of her former friends. The franchisor is focusing on online and how to help prevent cyberbullying through several programs, by providing activities and materials to promote safe online 
play for kids, and by participating in a Stop Cyberbullying Coalition event on Capitol Hill on October 13.

Jersey Mike's Honored

The CEO of Jersey Mike's Subs, Peter Cancro, will be honored this month by Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey at its 7th annual Concert For Kids. Earlier this year, the brand's national network of franchisees raised $50,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America through a special promotion. Jersey Mike's also has been a longtime supporter of Autism Speaks, the American Red Cross, First Tee, and Special Olympics. Founded in 1956, Jersey Mike's has more than 400 sub stores open and under development nationwide.

Kinderdance Steps Up for Orphans

Kinderdance International has joined forces with Traveling Tutus, a charitable effort to donate new and/or gently used shoes, leotards, tights, tutus, CDs, and other dance materials for children around the world. Founded by Jenna Johnston, a dance student at a Florida community college, Traveling Tutus has made donations to children in orphanages in Mexico, Guatemala, and Lebanon. When Kinderdance EVP Bernie Friedman read about Johnston's cause, he asked how his franchise could help. Kinderdance has 113 franchisees who teach about 12,000 children daily in more than 800 locations in 33 states and 5 countries. That's a lot of tutus.

Firehouse Subs Helps Firefighters

October is National Fire Prevention Month, and the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation is raising money for public safety entities. In the past two years the foundation has donated more than $1.75 million in equipment and resources to improve the life-saving capabilities of emergency services in communities served by the brand. The kick-off event on Oct. 3 at participating sub shops featured firefighter demonstrations of fire safety tips, free fire truck displays, and bounce houses and board game competitions with police and firefighters.

Spoon Me Tips Back the Community

SpoonMe's Keep the Change Charity is turning tips into charity for local communities. A tip bowl in each store gathers donations for a local charity or community fundraiser, with recipients changing each month. Instead of tips, employees are given other incentives such as reading a book for $20. Keep the Change has raised more than $31,000. Once or twice a year all the Spoon Me stores come together to raise money on a national level - this year for the American Cancer Society.

Homewatch CareGivers Cares for Veterans

Homewatch CareGivers is offering up to 20 hours of free in-home care to disabled or injured U.S. military veterans of any conflict, from World War II and Korea to Afghanistan and Iraq, through its "We Care for Veterans" program. Official reports from the U.S. Department of Defense indicate more than 31,000 military personnel have been wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts alone. Veterans care and support organizations estimate nearly 20,000 of these injured and disabled veterans depend on others for daily care. Homewatch CareGivers has 111 owners with 181 territories, including 10 international owners with 19 international territories. Service members or a family member can up by visiting to access program details or by calling toll free 800-777-9770. Applicants must sign up by November 30.

If you have charitable, community-based, or other "giving" initiatives at your company, please send them our way:

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