2021 Annual Report

July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021

Read the Full Report


Dear Friends,

In this 2021 annual report, you will learn about the Foundation’s signature programs, partnerships and awareness-building efforts that are helping to make the dream of a forever family come true for youth, like Michael, Roman and Lilliana.

Because of the unceasing dedication of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption professionals, the Foundation reached a major milestone this year: more than 10,000 children, have now been adopted through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids – including more than 1,300 young people since the start of the pandemic.

It is because of the support from our partners and generous donors that we can continue raising awareness and support for foster care adoption as we work toward dramatically increasing the number of adoptions of children waiting in North America’s foster care systems.

Please, take a moment to read a few highlights of our impact over the past year. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Wendy's Wonderful Kids®

In January 2021, we launched phase two of the Foundation’s multi-year business plan to expand the reach of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids. As part of this effort, we are working to deepen and sustain our impact in the first 11 states to scale the program and pursue expansion in at least 10 more states in the near term.

Our Impact (As of June 30, 2021)

Stories of hope

Michael, Roman and Lilliana often lived in separate foster homes as their family of origin struggled with addiction. They longed for a permanent place to call home — together.

With support from their Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter, Charlie, the children were adopted by their foster mom, Terri, in Washington.

Read more about how adoption changed the lives of these siblings, as well as Daisy, Conner and Arleigh featured in this year’s annual report.

Download the full report to read more heartwarming adoption stories that you helped make possible.

Wendy's® Gives Back

Year after year, The Wendy’s Company, its franchise owners and operators, suppliers, employees and customers support the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption through events, personal gifts and in-restaurant campaigns. Following are highlights of the many ways that the Wendy’s family worked together to support the Foundation.

Pictured: Wendy’s employees kick off
the wristband campaign

Thank you,
JAE Restaurant Group

During the summer of 2020, the JAE Restaurant Group — led by Foundation board member and JAE co-chairman Jhonny Mercado — organized a wristband campaign to support foster care adoption. Nearly 500 Wendy’s restaurants and franchise groups participated in the campaign, which raised nearly $275,000.

Pictured: Usama Mohamed, a Wendy’s operator,
preparing to run the Frosty® 5K in Egypt

Frosty 5K

In 2020, the Frosty 5K run was a virtual success garnering more than 1,600 participants and raising nearly $80,000. Participants from all around the world — including Canada, Guatemala, Egypt and Australia — took part in this annual event to benefit the Foundation’s mission.

The Challenge

In 2020, Wendy’s challenged each operator to sell at least 1,000 Boo! Books™ and 1,000 Frosty Key Tags per restaurant to support our continued expansion of the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. Not only did the Wendy’s system heed that challenge, but last year, Wendy’s partners and their loyal customers raised a record $12.5 million through the Boo! Books and Frosty Key Tags campaigns — nearly $3.5 million more than in 2019.

The Foundation is pleased to recognize 17 franchise organizations that met the challenge and welcome 11 new organizations into the 2020 class of Dave’s Legacy of Love Society.

Basec Management, Inc.
Chris & Emily Lane

Classic Foods, Inc.*
Todd Ricks & Robert Pincock

First Sun Management Corporation*
Joe Turner

JBS Foods, Inc.
Chuck & Cathy Etheridge

Jenoo Group, LLC
Badruddin Damani

JorCody Restaurants, Inc.
Rich & Loretta LeBle

RDR Foods, Inc.*
Ron & Diane Ross

Saren Restaurants, Inc.*
Sean Niklas

T&C Foods, Inc.
Joe, Jennifer & Andy Curran

Thomas 5 Limited*
Wendy Thomas

Ver Helst Enterprises
David, Anne & Matt Ver Helst

WenCarter, Inc.
Lewis Carter & Howard O’Brien

Wendcharles II
Cina Haas

Wen GAP / Bay Partners
Ed Anderson, Eddie Anderson
& Chris Haynes

Dave Roetting

Wendy’s of Bowling Green*
Mike O’Malley & John Hughes

WTC Ventures

[ *Also recognized in 2019 ]

Dave’s Single 1K Club &
Dave’s Double 2K Club

Pictured: Victoria Becerra, WTC Ventures

We are honored to celebrate nearly 1,200 general managers and district managers of restaurants that sold either 1,000 Boo! Books OR 1,000 Frosty Key Tags with silver 1K Club pins, and nearly 700 restaurants that sold 1,000 of BOTH campaigns with gold 2K Club pins.

Top 100 Club

Pictured (from left): Wendy’s employees Denis Francis,
Maricela Diaz and Adonis Peralta

The top-selling restaurant for the Boo! Books campaign is with the Briad Group in New York City, selling more than 30,000 books!

Pictured (from left): Wendy’s Franchise Operations Coach, Lonnie Nault, Wend American GM, Hashim Mollah and Wend American Area Director, Sujan Bajracharya

The top-selling restaurant for the Frosty Key Tags campaign is with the Wend American Group in Washington, D.C., selling more than 10,000 key tags!

Supporter Spotlights

The following individuals represent the growing number of generous donors who are passionately helping to advance the Foundation’s mission. We are pleased to share some of the many reasons they support this critical work.

While I don’t have a personal connection to adoption, Dave’s passion for finding permanent homes for children in foster care inspires me to support the Foundation.

— Robert Sfire

It is very difficult to change the world, but by giving to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, you can be part of changing the world for a child … few things can be as precious.

— María José Wright

While most children look to the future with some anticipation, many youth in foster care look to the future with dread at the possibility of aging out with no home, no money and no resources. I take every opportunity to talk about my support of the Foundation and the critical work they are doing to find permanent families for the hardest-to-place youth in foster care.

— Randy Crawford

“As a Columbus-based nonprofit with a vital mission, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption was a natural fit for a partnership with HOMAGE. At HOMAGE, we value stories, heroes and moments that uplift and inspire, and the Foundation’s mission to find permanent homes for children waiting in foster care is truly inspiring.

— Ryan Vesler, chief t-shirt officer

Financial Overview

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 13–14 of the Annual Report.

The Foundation is honored to recognize:

Building Fund Campaign donors contributing $10,000 or more to help with our new forever home.

View Building Fund Donors

All donors contributing $1,000 or more
between July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.

View Supporters

Together, we will make a lifetime of impact for children still waiting in foster care who need our help the most.