ATLANTA, (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Arby's restaurants across the United States raised $2.1 million for Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Arby's Foundation and other local youth-mentoring organizations during the restaurant chain's annual fundraiser from June 15 through August 9, 2009. Through the annual fundraiser, Arby's restaurants empowered people to help children in their local communities by adding $1 to their orders to go to Big Brothers Big Sisters and other youth-mentoring organizations. This year, the Arby's Foundation surpassed its fundraising goal of $2 million.
The Arby's National Community Fundraiser began in 1999 when the first Make a Difference pin-up was sold at an Arby's restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina. In its first year, the program brought in $11,942 for local youth.
"Charities are under pressure right now to raise funds in a tough economic climate. We're extremely proud of the extraordinary efforts of our franchisees and company-owned restaurants to not only meet our goal, but surpass it," said John Gray, Senior Vice President, Brand Communications, Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc.
"There's a growing demand for structured, successful, youth mentoring, particularly in this economy when families are struggling," said Karen Mathis, newly appointed President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. "The Arby's National Community Fundraiser will benefit our local agencies, allowing them to serve more children, families and volunteers -- helping kids succeed and strengthening communities."
The Arby's Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation grounded in the belief that every individual has the power to make a difference. Since its inception in 1986, the Arby's Foundation has raised more than $46 million through Arby's Charity Tour events, in-store fundraising, community events and grant programs to support youth education and mentoring initiatives. For the past two years, the Arby's Foundation has given over $800,000 in grants to support Big Brothers Big Sisters' "Campaign for Men" to assist the organization in reaching its goal of recruiting more male mentors.
Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc., based in Atlanta, is the second largest quick-service sandwich chain in the U.S. with more than 3,700 system-wide restaurants. Founded in 1964, Arby's quick service restaurants specialize in slow roasted and freshly sliced roast beef sandwiches as well as Market Fresh(R) deli-style sandwiches, toasted subs, and salads, all with the convenience of a drive-thru. Arby's offers guests a unique, great tasting alternative to traditional fast food with its one-of-a-kind menu items including the Beef 'n Cheddar, Curly Fries and Jamocha shakes. Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc. is a subsidiary of Wendy's/Arby's Group, Inc. (NYSE: WEN).
Big Brothers Big Sisters helps vulnerable children beat the odds. The organization depends on donations to help recruit volunteers and reach more children. Funding is used to conduct background checks on volunteers to ensure child safety; and provide ongoing support for children, families and volunteers to build and sustain long-lasting relationships. Big Brothers Big Sisters is proven to improve children's odds for succeeding in school, behaving nonviolently, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and breaking negative cycles. Headquartered in Philadelphia and with nearly 400 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves more than a quarter million children.
SOURCE: Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc.