This blog post is written by Ricki Oberoi, President of Oberoi Holdings, a Wendy’s franchise in Houston, TX, and supporter of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
That’s my story of how I became a Wendy’s Franchisee and since the day I filled out my first application, I haven’t looked back. This brand, its story and its connection to a cause so important is what makes my job so easy. At Wendy’s, when you join as a franchisee, the first thing you learn is that Dave Thomas believed in Giving Back. We know that he was dedicated to finding forever families for children in foster care, because it’s part of the fabric of this company. The rich history of the Foundation is integrated into the current and future business of Wendy’s. We aren’t simply selling hamburgers, we are part of something bigger, something genuine to our founding, something that goes as deep as the first hamburger Dave Thomas ever took off the grill; and that makes this business stand out in a way that other fast-casual brands can’t claim.
In-store campaigns like Frosty Key Tags and Frosty Coupon Books are how we raise the funds for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, but I truly enjoy nights like National Adoption Night even more because I get to know my customers. I invite the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter from my area to the restaurant and I ask her to invite the families she’s matched and who have adopted through this amazing program. I don’t want to just give back through donations, I want to give back with my time, my appreciation and my commitment to this very worthy cause.
This past spring, we were fortunate enough to invite several of the children being served by the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program to a Houston Rockets game. It was life-changing for me to meet the children whose lives would be forever changed by adoption. They are simply children, who want to grow up like any other child, with everyday problems, not worrying about where they will live next week or if they will have a family to support them after they turn 18. After the game, my wife and I took them to the team store for souvenirs. They all seemed so surprised at this small gesture. It was truly heart-warming to see their eyes light up when we said they could pick out whatever they wanted.
My wife and I have been incredibly fortunate in our lives. We came from humble beginnings, but we had great parents who guided us to success. These children deserve that same chance. I am proud to support the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and I am proud to be a part of a brand that believes that the heart and soul of a successful business is not just focusing on the bottom line, but also lifting others up.
The statistics of children in foster care are overwhelming. We are a modern society; we should not have children aging out of foster care without a support system, without parents. I believe it’s important that we encourage all families to consider domestic adoption and spread awareness of the staggering number of children waiting for families. There are more than 117,000 children waiting for loving homes right here in the United States.
If you aren’t supporting the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, I ask that you join me in doing so. As our shared Founder Dave Thomas said, “These children are not someone else’s responsibility. They are our responsibility.” We can make our communities stronger, change the lives of children waiting to be adopted from foster care and continue the legacy of a great man. Imagine the impact we could have if we all come together to do just that.