2018 Annual Report


In the 2018 annual report, we are honored to share the signature programs, partnerships and awareness-building efforts that are helping to dramatically increase the number of adoptions from North America’s foster care systems. We are grateful to our many dedicated partners and donors whose continued support helps us to achieve the vision that every child will have a permanent home and loving family.


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Wendy’s Wonderful Kids

Through the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) program, the Foundation and adoption recruiters are making significant progress toward our goal of ensuring a forever family for every child across North America. As of June 30, 2018:

Connecting and celebrating WWK recruiters 

The Foundation welcomed nearly 500 WWK recruiters and supervisors to our annual Summit for professional learning and team building.

“If I had to choose one word for Summit, I would choose inspiring. We get filled up so we can get back out there and continue fighting for the incredible children we have the honor to serve.”

— WWK recruiter, Melinda Williams (Maine)

The Summit also celebrates recruiters for outstanding service. This year’s award recipients are Tasha Huffaker (Utah) and Nicole Buie (South Carolina).

Tasha Huffaker

Tasha helped find a loving family for a boy who immigrated to the United States from South Korea. Tasha lived three hours from his foster family, but she made that drive regularly to build a relationship with the child and find him the right forever family. Read Tasha’s story

Nicole Buie

Nicole took a 17-year-old boy under her wing, led with compassion and found him the family he deserved. The child spent nine years in foster care and felt lost being separated from his siblings. After building a relationship with Nicole, he started to believe that a family was possible. Read Nicole’s story

Maci Kean

Placed into foster care at age 15 after the death of her parents, Maci said she had come to terms with being alone. But with the help of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruiter, Stephanie, Maci was adopted by the Kean family just 51 days before her 18th birthday. Read Maci’s story

“Once I got into the family, my world started to change, my mindset started to change, my future started to change.”

Wendy's® gives back

The Wendy’s Company, its franchisees, suppliers, employees and customers unwaveringly support the Foundation through events and in-restaurant campaigns, such as Frosty Key Tags, Halloween Coupon Boo! Books, National Adoption Night and Coin Canisters, which raised more than $18.7 million in 2017 – 2018. When you support these campaigns at your local Wendy’s restaurant, you are supporting the Foundation’s mission. Read more


The Briad Group is consistently one of the Foundation’s most engaged partners, raising more than $5 million to advance foster care adoption over the past 20 years. “We are so grateful to the leadership of The Briad Group and their teams for being incredible stewards of Dave Thomas’ legacy and encouraging not only employees in the Wendy’s family, but also partners in other organizations and friends to support the Foundation’s mission,” said Rita Soronen. Read more

Adoption-Friendly Workplace

More than 25 years ago, Dave Thomas led an initiative advocating for better adoption benefits in the workplace, because as he told everyone, “It’s the right thing to do.” The Foundation has carried that legacy forward through its Adoption-Friendly Workplace program and annual 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces list. Congratulations to NVIDIA, the top company on the 2018 list, and thank you to all the Adoption-Friendly Workplaces for leading the way in making adoption a supported option for all working parents. Access the list, and read the adoption story of NVIDIA’s Beau Davidson.


The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is pleased to recognize individuals and organizations who generously supported our vision between July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018.


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Honoring Anne Ranta

The Foundation was honored to receive a generous gift from the estate of Anne E. Ranta. Anne believed there was a home for every child, and she hoped her gift might aid in making that dream come true.

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 12–13 of the Annual Report.

Thank you to the Foundation's supporters at all levels

We are humbled by the growing number of organizations and individuals who share Dave Thomas’ belief that,

“These children are not someone else’s responsibility. They are our responsibility.”

Thank you for sharing this great responsibility with us. You are changing lives and building stronger families and communities for generations to come.