Wendy’s Foundation Takes Campaign to Promote Adoptions Nationwide

This March 17, 2014, file photo shows a Wendy's logo outside a Wendy's restaurant in Pitts
Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo

Restaurant chain Wendy’s is going nationwide with a foundation program that helps to raise funds for adoptions of difficult-to-place foster children.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, named after the restaurant chain’s founder — who was adopted himself — is expanding its Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program that helps to find loving homes for children in foster care. These children are often older, or have special needs, which make them more difficult to place permanently.

Pro-life organization Live Action observed that as many companies are rushing to support abortion, Wendy’s is raising funds for adoptions.

“Fast-food chain Wendy’s and its partner, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, has at its heart the interests of the children who are frequently trotted out as ‘reasons to abort’ — those who are in foster care waiting to be adopted,” Live Action noted.

The foundation’s website notes the words of Dave Thomas himself: “These children are not someone else’s responsibility. They are our responsibility.”

The foundation, which has partnered with Snapchat through the Cause Cup program, states about 400,000 children live in foster care in the United States. Snapchat users scan their phone over the fast-food chain’s cameo on the restaurant’s beverage cups. Once the marker is detected, Wendy’s will donate five dollars to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

“[W]e believe that every child deserves a permanent home and loving family,” the foundation says. “The work the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption does through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids – its signature program – has helped more than 8,500 children find their forever families.”

The Wendy’s program uses “a unique, child-focused recruitment model,” states the foundation, and it provides grants to both public and private adoption agencies to hire recruiters who implement the model.

In 2017, Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, told Columbus Monthly the Wendy’s adoption program has put in place “evidence-based programs” that help to find homes for children in the special foster care situation who are not easy to place.

“At the core is knowing that child. The case file is the centrifugal force of knowing who that child is, but nobody’s doing that deep-dive research,” Soronen said. “Under the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program, the Dave Thomas Foundation says to grant recipients, ‘With this grant, please hire a full-time adoption professional that will utilize this model, set some goals and get these children adopted.’”


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