Philanthropy Friday: Giving Back at Firehouse Subs

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.

Disclosure: My two boys and I received a free lunch from our local Firehouse Subs while we discussed the ways in which the company gives back. I had the Turkey Bacon Ranch sub, in case you were wondering, and it was really good. As per usual, all words and opinions expressed are my own. 

The counter at my local Firehouse Subs in Topsham, Maine.

The counter at my local Firehouse Subs in Topsham, Maine.

With more than 800 restaurants in 42 states and Puerto Rico, chances are you have heard of Firehouse Subs. They are the only sub shop around that steams their meats and cheeses, releasing a “rush of flavors” and serves them on a private recipe sub roll.

To be honest, I’m usually skeptical of chain restaurants, preferring to support a local eatery instead. However, I was recently invited to visit my local Firehouse Subs to learn more about what the company calls “the heart of their brand,” the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. After reading about recent donations to a local technical school and fire department, I was intrigued.

Chris and Robin Sorensen, the co-founders of Firehouse Subs, founded the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. To date, the Foundation has donated more than $11 million to 790 public safety organizations across the country. I’m told more than $25,700 has been donated in the state of Maine.

According to the website:

I had a wonderful lunch with Dave Tucci, the local area representative for Firehouse Subs, his lovely daughter and my two boys. Dave’s wife and her parents also showed up at one point, making for a nice family meal on a school holiday.

Dave told me about the foundation and the different ways customers of Firehouse Subs can contribute to it when they visit the restaurant. He also told me that a local representative of Firehouse Subs, like himself, always meets with the fire chief in the town in which a new restaurant is to be opened. The goal for the franchise is to partner with people who have both restaurant experience and an intimate knowledge of the local community. 

One of my favorite things about Firehouse Subs is that you will always be greeted by someone at the counter when you walk through the door, even when it gets busy. Dave says they want everyone to feel like they are at home when they visit the restaurant.

Pickle buckets at Firehouse Subs cost just $2 and the money goes to their public safety foundation.

Pickle buckets at Firehouse Subs cost just $2 and the money goes to their public safety foundation.

There are several easy ways to give back when you eat at Firehouse Subs. You can drop your spare change into an acrylic canister (as you see in the second photo in this post). You can “round up” your purchase to the nearest dollar when you complete your sale. You can also purchase a recycled 5-gallon pickle bucket for $2, with proceeds going directly to the public safety foundation.

During the month of October, also Public Safety Month, customers can purchase a $1 or $5 medallion to support the foundation. Medallions (seen on display behind the pickle buckets above) are on display for the entire month.

The foundation has most certainly made an impact in Maine and around the country. Dave told me a story of how two employees of Firehouse Subs were in a bad accident that required the use of jaws of life equipment donated by their employer. Luckily, the employees were OK in the end. While Firehouse Subs is newer in the state of Maine, donations have been made in the past through a grant process.

You can read more about the local impact the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has made on their website. Or visit their brand new interactive website that shows the lifecycle of a quarter when it is donated to the foundation.

How will you give back at Firehouse Subs?

Philanthropy Friday: Leaving a Trail of Gratitude and Perspective

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.

Wordless Wednesday (5.21.14): LL Bean Trout Pond by Jennifer Iacovelli Barbour

I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks finalizing my divorce and moving. The logistics involved are mind-boggling, but I’m happy to say I’m almost on the other side. When the post I had (somewhat) planned for today didn’t work out, I wondered what I would do to fill this space for the week.

Then, I saw a post a friend shared on Facebook. It was a post from Momastery that spoke to me so deeply, I felt I could have written it myself.

I shared the post and had some friends immediately share it from my Facebook feed.

It’s a post worth sharing here because it’s all about gratitude and perspective. Two things that I have been focused on intensely over the past six months in particular.

Read: Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt (via Momastery)

While you are at it, take a look at this post from my good friend Chris Carter at The Mom Cafe. Why?

“Because each time I am presented an opportunity to leave a trail, I am convinced that the power of my words and the very breath from which I speak have a remarkable impact.”

These words from Chris also spoke deeply to me this week.

Read: Leave A Trail Behind You… (via The Mom Cafe)

Giving is so much more than money and time. It’s about actions and convictions. It’s about modeling the behavior we want others to have (particularly our kids), no matter what your situation. Read these posts and let me know your thoughts. I hope they touch you as much as they touched me.

What words have been speaking to you lately?

Read and Make an Impact with Simplicity and Savings #ImpactEzine

At the end of May, I shared with you a guest post from fellow Global Team of 200 members, Lisa Van Engan and Amy Sullivan, for a Philanthropy Friday. They talked about how they joined their shared passion for making a difference by launching an Ezine called Impact.

I’m happy to share with you the hot off the press summer issue of Impact today. This issue is all about living simply and saving while also leaving space for giving back.

I was honored to be asked to contribute to this issue as well. You can find me talking about monthly giving on pages 12 and 13. As a contributor, I had the opportunity to read through the Ezine over the weekend. I can tell you that there are some great tips in there!

Read the summer 2014 issue of Impact with Simplicity and Savings

Cover photography by Mickie DeVries

Cover photography by Mickie DeVries

If you missed the guest post from Lisa and Amy, you can read it here.

Do you have any tips for simplicity and savings to add?

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