There are many different companies I’ve written to this past year, but very few of them have such a strong connection to the world of philanthropy, or a connection to me, as Panera does. I eat often at one of the Panera cafés near my home with my Dad. It’s one of our favorite hangouts. Now and then, I’ll remember to drop a quarter in the donation bucket they have for New Hope for Kids. Being a wish recipient of New Hope, it’s really important to me to give back to them in any capacity that I can. That’s why I absolutely love volunteering at their events.
At every fundraising event I’ve worked, Panera has been there, sharing the goods– and doing good. But, that’s not all they’re doing. Panera’s Operation Dough-Nation programs provide loaves of support to community causes. Their Community Breadbox accepts donations that they in turn give to nonprofit organizations for those in need.
Panera’s Day-End Dough-Nation Program allows for franchises to pack up all their unsold goods at the end of each day and donate them to charities, food banks, churches, and other organizations.
Finally, their SCRIP Fundraising Program lets charities purchase $10 Panera gift cards at a discounted price, and re-sell them at full price for their organization.
But most importantly, it’s their presence in the community at-large that makes them “hero material.” At all these events, Panera is there, serving food, and serving the people. I’m going to start by contacting the owner of a chain of franchises whom I’ve had the privilege to meet at several New Hope events. I have faith that he will be receptive to helping us get the word out.
Stay tuned for another entry tonight!