2019 Annual Report

A Message from Our President & CEO

Dear Friends,

In the 2019 annual report, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is pleased to highlight the signature programs, partnerships and awareness-building efforts that are helping to achieve our vision: every child will have a permanent home and loving family.

We are now 36 months into an ambitious 12-year business plan to expand the reach of our Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® program to serve children who are most often overlooked, including teenagers, children with special needs and siblings. You will read the story of Maya and Hannah Fontaine and other sibling groups who are together today thanks to Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and the support of our donors. Read more

July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019

Read the Full Report

Wendy's Wonderful Kids

Through the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) program, the Foundation is making significant progress toward the aggressive goals set forth in our business plan and raising awareness of our mission. Since expansion efforts began, we have added 264 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters and finalized 1,418 adoptions in the 9 scaling states alone. The leadership in these states are invested, not just financially, but emotionally in the critical work that we are doing.

Our Impact (As of June 30, 2019)

Read More


In June 2019, we visited Middleborough, Massachusetts to meet with Maya and Hannah, who shared the incredible pain and neglect they experienced before adoption because they want other children to be adopted too.

For six years, Maya and Hannah bounced between foster homes and living with their birth parents. Their lives changed forever when they met their Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter, Laura.

Read More


Wendy's® Gives Back

Year after year, The Wendy’s Company, its franchisees, suppliers, employees and customers support the Foundation through events, personal gifts and in-store campaigns, raising nearly $15.5 million from July 2018 to June 2019. Funds raised help the Foundation continue expanding Wendy’s Wonderful Kids across the country, ensuring that there is a recruiter to give every child waiting in foster care the time, resources and support they deserve.

Thank You, Wendy’s of Bowling Green

The Wendy’s of Bowling Green franchise raised $6,600 per restaurant in Boo! Book and Frosty Key Tag sales for a total of more than $350,000 donated to the Foundation in 2019. They wanted to raise the bar and encourage other franchisees to do the same. Read more

Thank You, Barco

With the partnership and support of Wendy’s franchisees, Barco has generously donated more than $1.5 million to the Foundation since 2011 through its “Barco Caps That Give Back Program.” Read more

Supporter Spotlights

Thank You, Karen Fifer Ferry

In elementary school, Karen wrote that she would like to one day give birth to three children and adopt eight. The dream of adopting a child never materialized, but Karen and her husband, John, were determined to make a difference for children in need of a loving, permanent family.

John and Karen’s generous support of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption provided funding for an additional Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter in Nevada, where there is a significant gap between the number of recruiters and children in need of adoptive homes. Read more

Honoring James J. Silvin

A frequent visitor of the Wendy’s restaurant near where he lived, James (Jim) Silvin wanted to leave a legacy of impact in helping find forever families for children in foster care. Jim chose to include a generous gift to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in his estate plan.

When individuals choose to include the Foundation in their estate plans, their contributions are felt for generations to come.

Financial Overview

As a donor, you can feel good knowing that your efforts are supporting significant progress. The Foundation earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, recognizing our commitment to good governance, financial transparency and other best practices and is proud to be a GuideStar Platinum participant. View the statement of financial position on pages 10–11 of the Annual Report.

The Foundation is honored to recognize all donors contributing $1,000 or more to our mission between July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019. Together, we will make a lifetime of impact for children still waiting in foster care who need our help the most.

View Supporters