May 27, 2008 // Franchising.com // DUBLIN, Ohio -- Forgo the colorful Father's Day tie, treat dad to Frosty and help a wonderful group of children in the process.
That's what Wendy's second annual Father's Day Frosty Weekend is all about -- giving people another way to support the cause of foster care adoption and help the more than 129,000 U.S. children who are waiting for the love of forever families.
During Father's Day Weekend, June 14 and 15, Wendy's will donate 50 cents from the sale of every Frosty product, including new Frosty Shakes, at participating restaurants, to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
The goal is to raise more than $1.3 million to support the work of the non-profit Foundation and its signature program: Wendy's Wonderful Kids (WWK). This program is filling a critical need by funding and supporting full-time adoption recruiters at local agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada to match parents with waiting foster care children.
Since 2004, WWK has grown from seven adoption recruiters to 109 across the U.S. and two provinces in Canada.
"The Wendy's system is very proud to be involved with this special event that helps support our Founder's most passionate cause -- finding a permanent and loving home for every child," said Wendy's Chief Executive Officer and President Kerrii Anderson, who serves on the board of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
"Our first year was a resounding success and raised $1 million for the Foundation. We've set our 2008 goal at $1.3 million, and we hope families will find this an enjoyable way to celebrate Father's Day while making a difference in the lives of others."
To date, 3,500 children in foster care have been served by the growing WWK program. Of these children, more than half have been matched with prospective parents. Most important, 524 children have had their adoptions finalized and now are experiencing the joys of having adoptive families.
The success of WWK is due to the ongoing partnership between the Foundation, the Wendy's system of 6,500 Company and franchise operated restaurants and local adoption partners. The Foundation grants funds to qualified adoption organizations, and holds the agencies accountable for achieving agreed-upon results. The Wendy's system raises funds to pay the costs of the local WWK programs.
"We're very proud of how far the program has come in such a short time. But even with all that's been achieved, there are still thousands of children in foster care still waiting to be adopted. The average age of a waiting child in the U.S. is nearly nine years old, and they spend an average of five years in the foster care system. Imagine telling a young child they must wait five years to find a permanent family," said Rita Soronen, executive director of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
"We believe Wendy's Wonderful Kids is the solution, and that the program will become even stronger with the support of Wendy's customers during Father's Day weekend."
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a non-profit 501(c)3 public charity dedicated to dramatically increasing the adoptions of the more than 150,000 children in North America's foster care systems ready to be adopted. Created by Wendy's founder Dave Thomas who was adopted as a child, the Foundation leads programs such as Wendy's Wonderful Kids, which puts adoption recruiters in all 50 states and Canada to find permanent, loving families for children in the foster care system, and Adoption-Friendly Workplace, which encourages employers to offer adoption benefits to their employees. The Foundation also works with adoption advocates and officials to streamline the adoption process and make adoption more affordable for families. As the only Foundation dedicated exclusively to foster care adoption, it is driven by its founder's simple value: Do what's best for the child. To learn more about the Foundation's work, please visit www.DaveThomasFoundationforAdoption.org
Wendy's International, Inc. (NYSE: WEN) is one of the world's largest and most successful restaurant operating and franchising companies. More information about the Company is available at www.wendys-invest.com.